Exercises between French and Pakistani Forces
French carrier group training with Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Air Force
TASK FORCE 473
On Tuesday, 11th of April, the French Carrier Group with the nuclear powered aircraft carrier “Charles de Gaulle” will hold a series of exercises centred on air defence with the Pakistan Air Force. These exercises will oppose the PAF aircraft to the Rafale and Super Etendard embarked on the carrier. They will carry out attack and defence missions on the sea and over the land in the vicinity of Karachi. A VIP trip organized on the 10th of April will enable Pakistani Service officials to discover the “Charles de Gaulle” in action and provide the setting for various last minute briefings.
This exercise is the first of a series that will enable French and Pakistani forces, which have always shared excellent defence relations, to train together. After the dedicated exercise with the PAF, the French Carrier Group will carry out exercises with the Pakistan Navy involving submarines and surface vessels next May. The presence of the Carrier Group is a rare opportunity to train with the neighbouring states of the area. It has thus conducted an exercise with Saudi Arabia and India, and will do so with Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates, in addition to various interactions with Qatar and Yemen.
The Carrier Group is present in the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea and the Gulf to perform a mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Pakistan being a frontline state in the same struggle against terrorism, it is an excellent opportunity to carry out exercises with the Pakistani services, a big first with the PAF, which is the air force -apart from France- that flies the largest number of French aircraft in the world, and with the PN building on 40 years of cooperation. It is worth mentioning that in May and June 2005, a task group from the PN held various exercises with French Navy in the Red Sea, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean.
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