FS MARNE Heads for Gulf of Aden with Future EU NAVFOR Force Commander

FS MARNE Heads for Gulf of Aden with Future EU NAVFOR Force Commander

French Navy command and replenishment ship FS MARNE left Toulon on 25 March and is heading towards the Gulf of Aden and the Somali Basin, with the future EU NAVFOR Force Commander, Rear-Admiral Dupuis and his staff on board.

The FS MARNE carries a complement of 215 personnel on board, among whom are 30 Force Headquarters staff, from 8 different countries. France will assume command in a few days of Task Force 465, European Naval forces fighting piracy off the coasts of Somalia.

After a preparatory period during the transit through the Mediterranean and Red seas, the FS MARNE will arrive in Djibouti on 4 April. The few days port visit will give some time to the Force Commander (Designate), Rear-Admiral Jean-Baptiste Dupuis and his staff to exchange with their predecessors on board Spanish ship PATIÑO and be fully operational by the time of the handover on 7 April.

The FS MARNE will join fellow French warships ACONIT, DIXMUDE and GEORGES LEYGUES. This will be in addition to the ships and aircraft deployed by other EU nations (currently Germany, Italy, Luxemburg, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands).

Committed since 2007 to support the work of the World Food Programme, France has played a leading role in the international mobilisation against piracy and the creation of operation Atalanta in 2008. France will assume command of EU NAVFOR Task Force (TF 465) on 7th April. This is the second occasion that a French ship has commanded the EU NAVFOR Task Force, the first time being under Rear-Admiral Philippe Coindreau on board French Navy destroyer De Grasse in 2010.

Naval Today Staff , March 28, 2012; Image: eunavfor