French Navy Carrier Battle Group Exercise
On April 5th 2012,
aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle started the FANAL 2012 exercise in
the Mediterranean Sea. This exercise involves the entire Carrier Battle
Group (CVBG) until mid-April.
In a scenario simulating a crisis situation, the aircraft carrier and
the carrier air group (CAG) will be escorted by the Chevalier Paul air
defense destroyer , Dupleix and Montcalm anti-submarine frigates, the
EV Jacoubet light frigate and Emeraude nuclear powered attack submarine.
An Atlantique 2 maritime patrol aircraft is also participating in the
Objective: To train all of CVBG units to fight together against multiple
threats in a realistic and fully operational environment, according to
For FANAL 2012 ten Rafale, seven Super Etendard Modernisés and
two Hawkeyes will form the CAG. The exercise will also be the occasion
for sixteen new pilots to achieve their carrier qualifications. After
obtaining the technical skills to land by day and night during the previous
three weeks, the newly qualified pilots will practice in some tactical
reconnaissance and air support missions.
Meanwhile, fire missions as well as anti-submarine and anti-air missions
will animate the group. On board the Chevalier Paul, the new Cayman helicopter
participating for the first time in major tactical maneuvers, will continue
to assess its military capabilities.
To command all the units involved in the exercise, Contre-Amiral
(Rear Admiral) Philippe Coindreau, Commander of the rapid reaction naval
aviation force, took place at the head of CAG. On board the Charles de
Gaulle with a staff of forty people, Rear Admiral Coindreau knows the
GAN, particularly for leading the maritime component of the French Forces
operations in Lybia from March to August 2011.
"FANAL 2012 is an intermediate step and yet essential to the
rise in power of the carrier battle group after its engagement off Libya
in 2011 and the ensuing technical stop, said the admiral. Together, we
prepare for the training maneuvers planned in the coming months, in joint
and combined operations. And we stand ready for any operational commitment
that would require our presence. "