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RAN, French Navy rendezvous in South China Sea

The navies have conducted a number of joint exercises during a voyage through the South China Sea.

The navies have conducted a number of joint exercises during a voyage through the South China Sea.

RAN frigate HMAS Anzac and auxiliary oiler HMAS Sirius have conducted exercises alongside the French Navy’s Jeanne d'Arc Task Group, comprised of the amphibious assault ship FS Tonnerre and the La Fayette Class frigate FS Surcouf.

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Both Navy Task Groups trained together as part of French-led Exercise La Perouse in the Bay of Bengal.

Commander of the Australian Task Group and Commanding Officer Anzac Commander Brendan Horn lauded the success of the collaboration.

“We gained a lot of experience in working with the Jeanne d'Arc Task Group during Exercise La Perouse, so it was a fantastic opportunity for both navies to put that experience to the test in a range of activities including officer-of-the-watch manoeuvres, replenishments at sea and flying operations,” CMDR Horn said.

“France and Australia enjoy a close partnership and share a commitment to maintaining an open, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific.”

HMAS Sirius’ company conducted replenishments at sea, supported by the three accompanying ships, concluding at-sea supply exercises during the deployment. 

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Commanding Officer Sirius Commander Chris Doherty reflected: “Working with partner navies allows us to test our procedures and we’ve already resupplied vessels from Malaysia, the US, India and Japan in addition to HMAS Anzac.

“For many of our crew, working with partner navies will be a career milestone that they can look back on with pride.” 

As part of the Jeanne d'Arc Task Group’s five-month deployment, French Navy vessels are expected to tour the Mediterranean, Red and South China Seas, and Indian and Pacific oceans.

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Anzac and Sirius, which deployed from the homeport at Fleet Base West in Western Australia, are due to return this month.

[Related: Australia, US, UK, France conduct joint sea mine training in Arabian Gulf]

RAN, French Navy rendezvous in South China Sea
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