French Navy Ships Tonnerre, Georges Leygues Complete Their Counter Piracy Mission
During their final patrol with the EU’s counter piracy mission – Operation Atalanta, the French Landing Helicopter Dock, FS Tonnerre and Destroyer FS Georges Leygues, rendezvoused at sea with the EU NAVFOR flagship, Portuguese Frigate Alvares Cabral.
On completion of what have been successful counter piracy deployments for both French Navy ships, the Force Commander, Commodore Jorge Novo Palma wanted to conduct brief farewell visits to personally acknowledge their excellent contribution.
During the visit by the Force Commander to FS Tonnerre, the Commanding Officer, Captain Jean-François Quérat said: “During this joint European operation, the amphibious Jeanne d’Arc group composed of LHD Tonnerre and FFH Georges Leygues, controlled and identified nearly 1,000 ships within the operations area.” He continued by specifying that: “Given that we didn’t arrest any presumed pirates during our patrols, I see this as a good indication of the effectiveness of the Atalanta mission. By the presence and the cooperation of each unit in the EU Naval Force, deterrence has been extremely efficient. Maritime security in the area has been enhanced, not just by Atalanta, but also through EUCAP Nestor, which is one of the European Union missions to help promote stability and security around the Horn of Africa.”
FS Georges Leygues’ Commanding Officer, Commander Romuald Bomont commented on his deployment by saying: “Operation Atalanta will remain an outstanding memory for all my crew, who have worked extremely hard. Success begins with team work, and the fact that the Force Commander was present on board in the last days of the deployment is a real mark of respect for my crew’s efforts and highlights the cohesiveness that the Force Commander achieved within “team CTF 465″.
Press Release, May 15, 2013; Image: EU NAVFOR