The goal of the “RHEA” exercise was for the French military to plan an operation and respond, on very short notice, to a terrorist organization seizing a merchant ship at sea.
Several land, naval and air assets, as well as France’s special operations command, were integrated to carry out an operation far from French bases.
The French Navy deployed a Mistral-class LHD, a FREMM frigate, a support vessel, an Atlantique 2 maritime patrol aircraft and an NH90 maritime helicopter.
The French Air Force deployed Rafale fighters, C135 tankers, an E-3F awacs aircraft and a KC130J in tanker configuration.
The Special Operations Command dispatched naval special forces personnel, Caracal CSAR helicopters and a C-130 aircraft used to drop an ECUME, the RHIB of the commando marine.
The French ministry of armed forces said the exercise was used to maintain the French military operational know-how in the field of complex long-distance force projection.
Through this counter-terrorism exercise at sea, France is demonstrated its willingness to participate in preserving the security and stability of the Mediterranean zone, alongside its allies.