France conduct joint naval drills with US in the Caribbean


According to information published by the U.S. Department of Defense on June 23, 2021, the Freedom-variant littoral combat ship USS Sioux City (LCS 11) executed a bilateral maritime exercise with the French Navy off the coast of Martinique, France, while operating in the Caribbean Sea.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 French Navy Floréal-class frigate FS Germinal (F735) and Freedom-variant littoral combat ship USS Sioux City (Picture source: U.S. Department of Defense)


Sioux City with her embarked MH-60S Seahawk attached to the “Sea Knights” of Helicopter Combat Squadron (HSC) 22, Detachment 3, and the French Navy Floréal-class frigate FS Germinal (F735) participated in the exercise. The engagement provided an opportunity for both navies to improve interoperability and demonstrate their ability to communicate, navigate, and operate together at sea.

Throughout the exercise, forces practiced a series of tactical shipboard movements and formations called division tactics (DIVTACS) as well as tested command and control and communication capabilities. Bilateral exercises with allies afford the opportunity to develop a greater trust, understanding and respect for each other’s unique platforms all while improving crews' knowledge and demonstrating shared tactics.

The exercise was a concluding event after Sioux City conducted a brief stop in Martinique, France to refuel.

Sioux City is deployed to the U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations to support Joint Interagency Task Force South’s mission, which includes counter illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific.

Germinal is a Floréal-class frigate of the French Navy. She is the sixth and last ship of her class, and the first French vessel named after Germinal, the seventh month of the Republican Calendar. The ship was constructed at Saint-Nazaire, France in 1992–1993 and entered service in 1994. The frigate has served in the Mediterranean and Caribbean Seas and the Gulf of Guinea. Germinal is stationed in the Antilles (Fort-de-France) for patrol duties in the Caribbean Sea.

Germinal has a standard displacement of 2,600 tonnes (2,600 long tons) and 3,000 tonnes (2,950 long tons) at full load. The frigate measures 85.2 metres (279 ft 6 in) long between perpendiculars and 93.5 metres (306 ft 9 in) overall with a beam of 14 metres (45 ft 11 in) and a draught of 4.3 m (14 ft 1 in).


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