The Spanish frigate? Christoph Columbus? will escort the French nuclear aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle?

The flagship of the French Marine Nationale takes part in an unexpected way in the NATO macromarine Dynamic Manta, which will take place in the waters of the central Mediterranean between February 24 and March 6, during which it will be escorted by other ships from the Spanish frigate ?? Cristóbal Colón ??.

The nuclear aircraft carrier “Charles de Gaulle” left its base in Toulon with his escort on February 21 to take part in the Clemenceau 21 mission. This operational cruise aims to fight terrorism in the Middle East as part of Operation Chammal. Strengthening partnerships and cooperation, especially with India (a good customer of the French defense industry); and presence in areas of interest to Paris on the Mediterranean, Persian Gulf and Indian Oceans.

The French aircraft carrier will be accompanied on the mission by its air-sea battle group, which will also include foreign escort ships such as the “Leopold Ier” frigates in addition to other units of the Marine Nationale. (Belgium), ?? Kanaris ?? (Greece) and ?? Margoriti ?? (Italy); as well as the US Navy destroyer USS ?? Porter, who is stationed in Rota (Cádiz).

Contrary to what was announced at the launch of the Clemenceau 21 mission, the aircraft carrier and its naval flight group will take part in an exercise off the Italian coast that will mainly focus on anti-submarine combat or Dynamic Manta (ASW) concentrated by NATO. Once this process is complete, French naval training will begin in the Eastern Mediterranean for the benefit of Operation Chammal, which is fighting the Islamic terrorism that has hit France so hard in recent years.

According to the NATO Maritime Command, Exercise Dynamic Manta is mobilizing a powerful force of the most modern submarines, such as the U209-type from Greece and Turkey, the U212A from Italy and one of the US Navy with nuclear propulsion. In addition, a large number of surface units of the Alliance with their ASW helicopters on board as well as Greek, Italian, German, American patrol aircraft or Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and an Atlantic 2 of the Marine Nationale will be added.

Among the participating surface vessels are those of the NATO Standing Naval Group No. 2 or the NATO Standing Sea Group Two (SNMG2), currently under the command of Spanish Rear Admiral Manuel Aguirre, who hoists his insignia on the frigate ?? (F-105) of the Spanish Navy. The SNMG2 currently also consists of the Italian frigates? Virginio Pheasant? and the turkish ?? Kemal rice ??.

Each surface ship can perform various ASW operations. The submarines will be hunted and chased one after the other, their efforts being closely coordinated with air and surface means, ”declared the NATO Maritime Command. The aim is to give the participants the opportunity to safely improve their interoperability and skills in ASW and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW).

The French involvement follows the incident last year in which the fire control radar of a Turkish military ship illuminated the French frigate “Courbet”, which was involved in the NATO sea watch operation at the time, up to three times. After the events, France distanced itself from NATO’s maritime operations as long as the circumstances of this case were not clarified. Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of the Alliance, then informed Paris confidentially of the results of the investigation. He later said in statements to Reuter: “The report on the incident with the” Courbet “was not finalized because nobody wants to humiliate Turkey, which has loudly asked for an apology.” (Julio Maíz Sanz)

Photo: Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier. (Marine National Photo)

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