French and Pakistani navy conduct joint exercises
Between mid April and end of May 2006, a series of exercises enabled common training between the French Aircraft Carrier Group (CVBG), led by the Aircraft Carrier “Charles de Gaulle”, and the Pakistani Armed Forces. The opportunity of the presence of the CVBG in the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea was seized to interact at a very good level with the Pakistan Navy and the Pakistan Air Force.
After an official visit on board the “Charles de Gaulle”, organised for the Pakistani VIPs, including the Vice Chief of naval Staff, VA Haroon, the crew of the French Naval Aviation, embarked in their Rafale and Super Etendard fighter aircraft, had many opportunities to engage their Pakistani counterpart from the PAF in training missions and attack and defence simulations above the Arabian Sea and the Pakistani coast.
As far as the French surface units and the French submarine “Saphir” were concerned they could compare their skills with their Pakistani counterparts from the PN, especially in anti-submarine warfare. It is also noteworthy that two Pakistani frigates, PNS TIPPU SULTAN and PNS BADR, as well as the Pakistani submarine SAAD, were integrated into the Carrier Group for several days, following the same operational procedure as the French Navy. The CVBG sails back to Toulon after over 4 months of presence in the area, not without thanking warmly the Pakistani authorities for the excellent cooperation extended and the great commitment of all the personnel during the exercises.