French Navy Horizon-class DDG leads combined anti-terrorism mission with 2 US Navy Destroyers

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Naval Forces News - France, USA
 
 
 
French Navy Horizon-class DDG leads combined anti-terrorism mission with 2 US Navy Destroyers
 
By Xavier Vavasseur - Chief Editor
In another example of the high interoperability between the French Navy (Marine Nationale) and the US Navy, the Horizon-class AAW Destroyer Forbin (classified as "Frigate" in the French Navy) is currently at the head of a combined mission with US Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) and USS Mason (DDG 87) with the occasional presence of Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG-61) as well.
     
In another example of the high interoperability between the French Navy (Marine Nationale) and the US Navy, the Horizon-class AAW Destroyer Forbin (classified as "Frigate" in the French Navy) is currently at the head of a combined mission with US Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Roosvelt (DDG 80) and USS Mason (DDG 87) with the occasional presence of Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG-61) as well. The combined SAG for mission Eiffel 2016.1. From left to right: French Navy Horizon-class Destroyer Forbin, US Navy Burke-class Destroyers USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) and USS Mason (DDG 87). Picture: French Navy
     
In total, over 900 French and American sailors are involved the mission called "Eiffel 2016.1". The Surface Action Group (SAG) main mission is anti-terrorism to ensure security of the maritime space of the Indian Ocean. This strategic area includes the main shipping lanes between Asia, the Middle East and Europe, including the major international straits that are Hormuz and Bab El-Mandeb.


In a vast area of operations including the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea (about twice the area of the Mediterranean Sea) the Eiffel16.1 mission has four objectives:
» gather intelligence on maritime traffic in the area;
» protection of maritime traffic in the event of piracy or terrorism;
» fight against weapons trafficking within the framework of the embargo imposed by the UN in Somalia;
» fight against illicit trafficking, including drugs, which often finances terrorism.

The combined SAG is under the tactical command of Combined Task Force 55 (CTF 55) based in Barhain.
     
In another example of the high interoperability between the French Navy (Marine Nationale) and the US Navy, the Horizon-class AAW Destroyer Forbin (classified as "Frigate" in the French Navy) is currently at the head of a combined mission with US Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Roosvelt (DDG 80) and USS Mason (DDG 87) with the occasional presence of Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG-61) as well. View from the Forbin's helicopter deck as the combined SAG is underway. Picture: French Navy
     
The combined task force observes and classifies the maritime flows on a daily basis and intercepts suspicious vessels when needed. If suspicious tracks are detected, VBSS teams (for Visit, board, search, and seizure) are deployed to conduct investigations.

As commander of the Franco-American SAG, the Forbin plans, coordinates and leads the action of the three powerful surface combatants, as well as their helicopters (MH60 and Panther) and the maritime patrol aircraft (MPAs) detached for the support of the SAG.

Unprecedented level of French-US cooperation
It has to be noted that the cooperation between the French and US Navies is at an all time high and reached unprecedented levels this year:

From December 7, 2015 to March 3, 2016, the Charles de Gaulle served as the command element for U.S. Naval Forces Central Command’s Task Force 50 (TF 50). It was the first time this function was entrusted to a non-US admiral and non-US unit.

Later, during her deployment with USS Harry S. Truman carrier strike group, FREMM Provence was tasked as "sector air defense commander" while crossing the Hormuz strait. This shows the very high level of integration and interoperability of the French Navy and its latest surface combatant, the FREMM, with US forces and allies.

Lastly, Floreal-class Frigate Vendemiaire joined a US Navy Carrier Strike Group (CSG) in the South China Sea.
     
In another example of the high interoperability between the French Navy (Marine Nationale) and the US Navy, the Horizon-class AAW Destroyer Forbin (classified as "Frigate" in the French Navy) is currently at the head of a combined mission with US Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Roosvelt (DDG 80) and USS Mason (DDG 87) with the occasional presence of Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG-61) as well. Forbin destroyer's VBSS team in action with a suspicious vessel. Picture: French Navy
 

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