French Navy press release – Translated by Naval News
The aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle is going on another mission from February to April 2022. This will be her 14th mission. Demonstrating its interoperability with allied navies, the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) will integrate several foreign vessels during its mission.
France is deploying its carrier strike group in Task Force 473 (TF 473) formed around the aircraft carrier ‘Charles de Gaulle’, which will be engaged until April 2022 in the Mediterranean as part of the CLEMENCEAU 22 mission.
A true tool for power projection and autonomous situation assessment, the CSG will be deployed in a complex strategic environment marked by the hardening of regional tensions. The deployment of this military capability – unique in the European Union – underlines France’s commitment to freedom of action, maritime and air traffic.
The Carrier Strike Group will integrate units from European Union partner navies (Belgium, Spain, Greece) and NATO allies (United States, Canada). This integration will enable us to maintain and develop the ability to operate together and defend Europe’s interests, at a time when France holds the rotating six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union. The CLEMENCEAU 22 mission will also focus on strengthening cooperation between France and its other Mediterranean partners.
In line with its previous missions, the CSG will be integrated into Operation CHAMMAL, the French component of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE, and will contribute to the fight against the reconstitution of the Islamic State’s capabilities in the Middle East. It will also be able to support France’s operational commitments within the framework of the European Union (EUNAVFORMED IRINI), within NATO and the SACEUR (Supreme Allied Command for Europe) area of responsibility, or within another coalition.
Mission Clemenceau 22
As part of the Clemenceau 22 mission, the French CSG will also conduct a “tri carrier operations” with the Italian Navy (Marina Militare)’s Cavour CSG and the U.S. Navy’s Truman CSG. The main purpose is to maintain intoperability between allied navies, and train with new assets such as Italian F-35Bs, and American E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft.
The Clemenceau 22 will focus on the Mediterranean region, but some of its assets (a frigate and some fighters) will also be deployed in the Black Sea because of the rising tensions in this region.
French CSG composition:
- Nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (R91)
- Horizon type Air Defense Destroyer Forbin (D620)
- Air Defense FREMM Frigate Alsace (D656)
- FREMM frigate Normandie (D651)
- Durance-class replenishment oiler Marne (A630)
- A Rubis-class SSN
This mission will mark the first operational deployment for the latest frigate to be commissioned with the French Navy: Air Defense FREMM Alsace.
All Rafale M fighters in the airwing ( 20 aircrafts) are in the latest standard known as F3R, a first for the French CSG.
Several allied units will be part of the French CSG:
- US Navy Arleigh Burke-class Destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71)
- Spanish Navy Álvaro de Bazán-class frigate Juan de Borbon (F102)
- Hellenic Navy Eli-class frigate Adrias
- A Hellenic Navy submarine
- An NH90 NFH of the Belgian Navy (aboard Forbin)