During the past few days, the Brazilian Navy and the French National Navy have reported high levels of operability as part of Operation ‘Jeanne d’Arc 2024,’ with the presence of the main means of amphibious projection of these fleets. Specifically, the multipurpose ship NAM Atlântico and the French helicopter carrier Tonnerre are leading their respective Task Groups.

As reported by the Brazilian Navy through its new information website, one of the key aspects of Operation Jeanne d’Arc 2024 is to increase interoperability levels between forces in order to jointly respond to natural disasters or humanitarian support operations, as well as strictly military exercises, such as the deployment of amphibious assets in expeditionary missions.

With these premises, during the past week, ships and aircraft from both fleets have been conducting combined exercises in the waters of Sepetiba Bay. Over three days of activities, both forces carried out an Operational Demonstration of a beachhead assault, involving assets from the respective marine infantry units with their amphibious and landing vehicles.

The Brazilian Navy expressed the importance of conducting this type of deployment with other forces at regional and international levels. In the words of Rear Admiral Nelson de Oliveira Leite, Commander of the 1st Squadron Division and Commander of the Combined Amphibious Task Force, he stated: ‘In today’s world, where we have ongoing conflicts, it may be necessary for Brazil to evacuate civilians from a place of interest, and this type of operation carried out here fits perfectly into this situation. The French Navy, for example, before coming on this mission, was in Haiti, evacuating nationals from that country due to public security issues.’

On his part, the Commander of the amphibious helicopter carrier “Tonnerre” and commander of the French task group “Jeanne d’Arc,” Captain Adrien Jules Marie Schaar, stated: “This partnership between Brazil and France is longstanding and has been further intensified with the recent visit of the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, to the Itaguaí Submarine Base.”

He added: “We are on a five-month journey through Latin America to train the Officer Cadets on board and carry out this type of operations with friendly nations, among which Brazil is the main one in Latin America.”

In addition to strictly amphibious operations, the Brazilian and French multipurpose ships, along with support units such as frigates, conducted naval maneuvers. These involved the previously mentioned “NAM Atlântico” and the helicopter carrier “Tonnerre”, along with the frigates “Guépratte” of the French Navy and “Liberal” of the Brazilian Navy.

Named Leap-Frog and Light-Line, these exercises involve practicing maneuvers to approach ships at sea in order to navigate in formation and at short distances. Additionally, these exercises “simulate maneuvers for the transfer of supplies and personnel between ships at sea, requiring specialization, as they require ships to navigate very closely, requiring close monitoring by the maneuvering team throughout the action,” as detailed by the Brazilian Navy in its official statement.

*Photographs: Brazilian Navy.

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