French Ship (FS) Frigate Surcouf joined the Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) to take part in maritime security operations throughout the Gulf of Aden, Somalia Basin and Indian Ocean.
FS Surcouf will be working with coalition forces from the Combined Maritime forces which consists of 30 member states. It is their mission to counter violent extremism, piracy, illicit activity and terrorist networks. They work with regional and other partners to improve overall security, helps strengthen regional nations’ maritime capabilities and, when requested, responds to environmental and humanitarian crises including Safety of Life at Sea emergencies.
FS Surcoufs’ area of operation will cover the Northern part of Indian Ocean, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea and Red Sea. This extended area is vital for world trade as it includes some of the world’s most important and busiest shipping lanes and two strategic straits: Hormuz and Bab el-Mandeb. Permanence of coalition ships in the area helps maintaining the free flow of maritime commerce and trade and contributes to global economic growth.
Among her missions, FS Surcouf could be called upon to lead friendly approach and assist visits with local dhows and fishing vessels, in the aim to gathering information about maritime security and illegal acts.
Commander Thomas Fraïoli, FS Surcouf Commanding Officer, said.
“Surcouf joined the Red Sea through Suez Canal. Our transit away from the French city of Toulon gave us time to train ourselves before integrating into CTF-150. We are now fully operational to accomplish our mission in our area of responsibility”.
France has assumed command of CTF-150 for the ninth time since it was launched in 2001, after the 9/11 attacks in New York, to fight terrorism. “The simultaneous deployment of two ships belonging to French Navy highlights France strong will to fight against terrorism, side by side with allied nations participating in the coalition”, Commander CTF-150 Capt. Crignola said.