Royal Navy sailors and marines exercised with their counterparts from other countries during a five-month annual French naval deployment to the Indian Ocean and Far East.
UK forces joined the French Navy assault ship FS Mistral in March as part of the Jeanne d’Arc 2017 French task group, which has visited Singapore, Sri Lanka, Japan, Guam, Australia and Vietnam.
Among the many exercises conducted by the task group was the first ever four-part maritime exercise involving France, Japan, the UK and US.
The two-staged exercise named Forager Deux and Arc 17 took place in the sea and in the skies near to Japan, Guam, and Tinian, with the purpose of enhancing joint operating between the UK and international partners and deepening Defence cooperation.
In addition to UK maritime personnel, the exercise also included two Royal Navy Merlin Mk3 helicopters from the UK’s Commando Helicopter Force, which as part of a week-long practice assault moved 330 French, Japanese and American troops to and from Tinian.
This week, UK personnel worked alongside French and Egyptian armed forces when the Jeanne D’Arc task group arrived in Egypt to take part in Exercise Cleopatra.
The cross-decking exercise, which saw UK Merlins land on the Egyptian warship ENS Nasser, was the latest in a series of multilateral amphibious exercises that the UK has taken part in throughout the five month deployment.[Read more]