French “Lightning” in the Aegean – New message from Paris to Ankara: The powerful Amphibious Operations vessel “Tonnerre” alongside the Greek Armed Forces

French “Lightning” in the Aegean – New message from Paris to Ankara: The powerful Amphibious Operations vessel “Tonnerre” alongside the Greek Armed Forces
French “Lightning” in the Aegean – New message from Paris to Ankara: The powerful Amphibious Operations vessel “Tonnerre” alongside the Greek Armed Forces

We fully support the sovereignty of Greece. Cooperation in matters of foreign and defense policy and armaments is becoming more important today in the face of challenges” the French president had emphasized just last week Emmanuel Macron to Prime Minister KHyriako Mitsotakis.

And Paris seems not only to keep this promise but to send the message to Ankara with actions. Many times even in the loudest way. As in the large bilateral exercise “ARGO 2022” which takes place from the coming Friday, September 23 up to October 1st in the Aegean.

An exercise of substance but also of high symbolism which is considered a given that will strongly disturb Ankara. Since, among others, one of its scenarios includes Ai Stratis, an island located in “target” of the neighbors as they believe it should be demilitarized as well as a number of other uninhabited islands.

Already at sea and bound for the Aegean is the mighty FS amphibious operations ship “Tonnerre” loaded with tanks, crawlers, helicopters, marines and even a Special Operations commando team. This is a ship with a code name “Thunder» of 200 meters in length which he operates for the Marine Nationale since 2006. “Twin” with FS “Dixmude” which in 2020 participated in the impressive exercise “ALEXANDER THE GREAT” which took place in the same area.

In “LATE 2022” our Navy will participate with the frigate “HELLI”, two tankers but also a submarine. In addition, the Special Warfare Command will be spearheading the 32nd Marine Brigade as well as Executives of Special Operations Units. In the bilateral interdisciplinary exercise organized by GEETHA, a key role will be played by 1st Army Aviation Brigade with transfer helicopters Chinook and Apache attacks. While the “hawks” of the HAF could not be missing. Our Air Force will assist in all scenarios with fighters F-16 aircraft, Mirage 2000-5 and F-4 Phantom.

The focus of the exercise and command ship will be the French class Amphibious Assault Ship Mistral. According to information, in the first days all ships will sail to Pagasitikos where the relevant briefing will take place and then the main part of the “LATE 2022”.With one of the scenarios providing for airborne action in Ai Stratis with the participation of all the forces that take part and execution by helicopters and commandos. The choice of our unspoiled island was anything but accidental, since in this way Paris wants to send a loud and clear message to Ankara that her dominion Greece in the Aegean islands and especially in those disputed by Turkey is a given and is recognized in the most absolute way by France. Which, after all, has committed itself to military assistance to Greece against any threat.

The final stage of the exercise “LATE 2022” will take place in Skyros with a large landing force of French and Greek Marines and support both from the ships and from the air by Air Force fighters and also by Apache attack helicopters.


The article is in Greek

Greece

Tags: French Lightning Aegean message Paris Ankara powerful Amphibious Operations vessel Tonnerre Greek Armed Forces

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