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RAN joins French Navy for exercise through South China Sea

RAN joins French Navy for exercise through South China Sea
Photo: Leading Seaman Jarrod Mulvihill

HMAS Parramatta has rendezvoused with two Marine Nationale vessels for a collaborative exercise through the South China Sea.

HMAS Parramatta has rendezvoused with two Marine Nationale vessels for a collaborative exercise through the South China Sea.

Anzac Class frigate HMAS Parramatta has joined French Navy Marine Nationale vessels FS Tonnerre and FS Surcouf of the Jeanne d’Arc Task Group for a cooperative passage through the South China Sea. 

This follows participation in Exercise Arc21, with all three vessels joining land, maritime and air forces from Japan and the US for training exercises earlier this month.

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Training activities included communication exercises, replenishment-at-sea approaches, maritime manoeuvres and joint-flying serials using HMAS Parramatta’s MH-60R and Tonnerre’s Panther helicopters.

Commanding Officer Parramatta Commander Anita Nemarich said the exercise provided partner nations with the opportunity to strengthen interoperability.

“The Royal Australian Navy and the French Marine Nationale have enjoyed multiple opportunities to work together in the region recently,” CMDR Nemarich said.

“It is great to be able to continue on the tremendous work of HMA Ships Anzac and Sirius who worked with the Jeanne d’Arc Task Group recently during Exercise La Perouse, building our interoperability as like-minded nations.”

Commander of the Jeanne D’Arc Task Group and Commanding Officer Tonnerre Captain Arnaud Tranchant added: “Operating in-company with the Australian Navy, with whom we share the same commitment to freedom of navigation, means reinforcing our ties and our capability to operate together with the same purpose.

“It is also a great occasion for our naval cadets to be working with a partner Navy they will very likely encounter again in their future postings.”

HMAS Parramatta’s collaboration with the French Navy forms part of a two-month deployment to southeast and northeast Asia alongside HMAS Ballarat.

HMAS Ballarat recently joined Operation Argos – Australia’s contribution to international efforts to monitor and deter illegal shipments of sanctioned goods to North Korea, as part of United Nations’ Security Council Resolution 2397. 

[Related: HMAS Ballarat joins Operation Argos]

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