FAPF/FANC vessels: Two brothers in arms in the Kingdom of Tuvalu

Based in Nouméa and Papeete respectively, the Overseas Support and Assistance Buildings (French: BSAOM) "D'Entrecasteaux" and "Bougainville" made a junction in the middle of their respective deployments in the heart of the Pacific Ocean. This unprecedented meeting was an opportunity for both crews to compare their experience in order to optimize their respective organizations and joint action capacity.

FAPF FANC vessels Two brothers in arms in the Kingdom of Tuvalu 925 001The Support and Assistance Vessels FAPF and FANC (Picture source: French Ministry of Defence)

On 29 September, after four days of operational release on Funafuti Atoll, in the Kingdom of Tuvalu, the two BSAOMs patrolled jointly for five days. This period allowed them to share their know-how and improve their joint commitment capacity.

These vessels are mainly specialized in emergency relief operations ( Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief - HADR). Also, learning to act in concert improves the ability of prepositioned forces in the Pacific (FAPF and FANC) to cope with a large-scale natural disaster. In such a large area with high cyclonic risk, this capacity is a real added value.

Moreover, during their stopover, the two BSAOMs received a very warm welcome from the locals and the local patrol crew, with whom several visit and manoeuvring exercises were carried out during the departure day. The sailors of both ships will remember the combativeness and excellent spirit of these police forces, which are considered among the most active in the control of fisheries in the West Pacific.

The 950 armed forces soldiers in French Polynesia (FAPF) constitute a pre-positioned joint system whose main mission is to ensure the sovereignty of France in the five Polynesian archipelagos and the ZEE. In coordination with the FANC, they allow France to be able to ensure its sovereignty, including in its remote territories, to intervene in case of natural disaster but also to fight against growing threats such as illegal trafficking and especially to animate the regional and international military cooperation with all countries bordering the Asia-Pacific area.