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French Navy helicopter carrier Tonnerre departs for Beirut to help Lebanese people


The French navy helicopter carrier Tonnerre has departed for Beirut, Lebanon on Sunday with significant material and human resources to help with operations of clearing after the explosion which devastated a large part of the Lebanese capital.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 French navy helicopter carrier Tonnerre. (Picture source: Marine Nationale)


France sent a helicopter carrier and a cargo ship loaded with aid and supplies to Beirut as the country is organizing an international donors’ conference for Lebanon.

The Tonnerre will transport in particular:

+ An engineering group of the Army of about 350 men commanded by the 2nd foreign engineer regiment. Created on very short notice, this module is particularly suited to operating in a complex environment, in particular, thanks to its clearing, works and deployment assistance capacities;
+ A detachment of demining divers from the French Navy with skills in underwater work and investigation of port areas;
+ Amphibious landing means one Rapid Amphibious Landing Vehicle (EDAR) and two Material Transport Barges (CTM);
+ Two helicopters (a Caracal helicopter from the Air Force and an Alouette III from the French Navy);
+ Capacities for reconnaissance of maritime access and hydrographic support for the Marine Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service (SHOM);
+ A module of the 519th regiment of the train to help with the landing in Beirut;
+ Fire-fighting vehicles from Marseille firefighters which will be donated to Lebanon;
+ Staff and essential equipment (food freight and construction materials) made available by the Ministry of the Armed Forces, the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Solidarity and health, and by private companies.

The French foreign affairs ministry said in a statement that the two ships come in addition to eight flights scheduled since the Beirut devastating blast to bring experts, rescue workers and supplies.

A cargo ship loaded with aid will also leave France in the coming days.

In total, France is sending 18 tons of medical aid including medicines, vaccines and hygiene kits and 663 tons of food aid, the foreign ministry said.


Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 French navy helicopter carrier Tonnerre. (Picture source: Marine Nationale)