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French Navy Port Visit – part of Exercise LION MISTRAL

This morning brought the arrival of 2 French Warships, La Fayette and Misteral.

(Above) FS La Fayette (F-710) is a Frigate, and launched in 1996, Making her a contemporary of the RCN’s Halifax Class. She was First of Class, and this type is also used by the Saudi Navy.

FS Misteral (L-9013) is an Amphibious assault ship, and lead ship of her class. She was commissioned in 2006. She features a landing craft dock, and Helicopter facilities.

DND Issued the Following Statement.

Approximately 200 Canadian Army soldiers from 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in Valcartier, Quebec will take part in Exercise LION MISTRAL alongside members of the French Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force from June 16-23, 2014, in Gaspé, Quebec. Following a visit to Halifax Harbour on June 16-17, 2014, The Mistral, a French warship, escorted by the frigate La Fayette, will proceed to the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the St. Lawrence River to participate in Ex LION MISTRAL.

Canadian Army soldiers, primarily from the 1st Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment (1 R22eR), will board The Mistral, the French amphibious assault ship and helicopter carrier in Halifax on June 18. Canadian Army troops will conduct littoral operations, including running air-land operations and battle procedures, and establishing a helicopter landing site and a beachhead. Ex LION MISTRAL will also feature a humanitarian assistance air evacuation operation that will help train expeditionary forces to respond to humanitarian disasters;

Ex LION MISTRAL will culminate in two disembarkation operations on a Gaspé beach on June 20-21 marking the end of the amphibious exercise. In response to a request by the town of Gaspé, the members of the 1 R22eR will also be offering a static display of their vehicles and equipment on June 21. The Canadian Army’s participation will include ten Light Armoured Vehicles, one combat command post vehicle, and several logistics vehicles, to include an ambulance, a recovery vehicle, and a heavy transport vehicle. These Are currently on the pier outside HMCS Scotian. Also participating are 15 members of the Royal Canadian Air Force, with three CH-146 Griffon helicopters from the 430 Tactical Aviation Helicopter Squadron based at Valcartier Garrison

 Ex LION MISTRAL is the first joint amphibious exercise between the Canadian Army and the French Navy.

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Peter Ziobrowski

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