French FREMM frigate concludes eventful deployment
French Navy’s multi-mission frigate FS Provence recently wrapped up her action-packed five month deployment as she returned to her homeport in Brest, France on April 21, 2016.
Commissioned into service in June 2015, the Provence sailed from Brest November 15, 2015 for her first deployment which led her up to the South China Sea.
During the deployment, FS Provence became the first multi-mission frigate to cross the Suez Canal.
Additionally, it was also the first FREMM to become part of a carrier battle group, first by joining the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman near the Strait of Hormuz, and later escorting French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in December 2015 and January 2016 as the carrier conducted airstrikes against the Daesh in Syria.
At the end March 2016, the frigate seized a large weapons cache from a Somalia-bound vessel. Several hundred machine guns, anti-tank weapons and AK47 assault rifles were seized after Provence’s Caïman helicopter spotted the suspected vessel whilst it was undertaking routine surveillance in the Northern Indian Ocean.
During the 160 days of absence FS Provence has crossed three oceans, four seas, passed straits of Gibraltar, Messina, Bab El Mandeb, Hormuz and Malacca and traveled more than 35,000 nautical miles.