Liberia: French Warship Arrives in Monrovia

Liberian Observer Monrovia
Displayed with permission from allAfrica.com

A French warship, Commandant Ducuing, that has carried out missions in deterrent and maritime operations has arrived at the Freeport of Monrovia.

The frigate will be on the shores of Liberia from Oct. 19-21 to conduct maritime cooperation activities with the Liberian Navy and meet with political and military authorities, according to a release from the French Embassy near Monrovia.

The warship is heavily armed with a 100mm caliber, two 20mm guns as well as four 12.7mm caliber guns with 96 crew members.

The frigate is 80 meters long and capable of leading all kinds of naval operations at sea, on her own and also inside a task group. It is part of 17 warships that are participating in a series of naval operations. She began active service in 1983.

Among the frigate’s most frequent missions include deterrent operations inside crisis areas (embargo control, counter-terrorism), and maritime operations (surveillance and defense of maritime approaches against emergent threats such as illegal activities, terrorism, maritime pollution, etc.).

Since August, Commandant Ducuing and LHD Dixmude have been patrolling along the Gulf of Guinea and a French operation named Corymbe.

Both ships led numerous regional engagements at sea, and will also visit partners including Senegal, Ivory Coast, Togo, Benin, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea.

Since the beginning of its deployment, at least 150 seafarers have been trained by Commandant Ducuing’s crew members. In total, 12 countries will be visited by both warships during their missions.

The French Navy is a professional naval force that acts to protect legitimate maritime activities and secure the freedom of navigation.

Corymbe Operation is a quasi-permanent mission led by the French Navy, which is deployed in the Gulf of Guinea since 1990. It is an enduring force which has demonstrated its long term commitment to the region over many years by taking action against wide spectrum of threats to maritime security.

Corymbe’s Mission

French warships promote security and stability in the maritime environment by conducting regional engagements and capacity building activities with partners. These activities are meant to improve interoperability and to help regional navies to improve their readiness and maritime security capabilities.

It is also a way to enhance the cooperation between France and her partners in the Gulf of Guinea region. The numerous ports visits and the annual multinational NEMO Exercise (Navy Exercise for Maritime Operation) are a good example of this cooperation, a release said.

Operation Corymbe’s staff and assets stand ready to protect French strategic interests as well as French communities in the sub-region in case of emergency. It is also an alert force, ready to act, when requested, to protect or evacuate French citizens or to support responses to events at sea, including environmental and humanitarian crises.

French warships in the sub-region also conduct maritime security operations which complement the security efforts of regional nations against elements that seek to disrupt the maritime environment for illicit activities such as: drug-trafficking; migration; smuggling (weapons, counterfeits); piracy; terrorism and organized crimes and illegal fishing.

The Gulf of Guinea area is a vital artery of world trade that includes significant shipping routes and possessing important oil-bearing, fishing and ore resources. From Senegal to Angola, West Africa is a strategic region covering 5,707 kilometers of coast lines and hosting 80,000 French nationals.

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