Joint Passing Exercise (PASSEX) titled “CYP/FRA-01/2019” between Cyprus Naval Forces and the French, La Fayette class, Frigate ACONIT F-713
In the framework of the bilateral "Agreement for Cooperation on Defence Matters", that was drawn up between the Ministries of Defence of the Republic of Cyprus and France, a joint Passing Exercise (PASSEX) titled "CYP/FRA-01/2019" was carried out from the 15th until the 18th of January 2019.
The goal and the main objective, of the exercise was to improve interoperability between Cyprus Naval Forces and the French, La Fayette class, Frigate ACONIT F-713, and to foster relations between both Nations.
Specifically, on the 15th of January, a simulated boarding exercise was conducted by the Cyprus Navy team onboard the FS ACONIT at berth, whilst the French team performed a similar drill onboard the Auxiliary Ship ALASIA of the Cyprus Navy, which was docked, within the Limassol Port. These exercises proved to be of great value to both Navies as they exposed both boarding teams to various operating procedures, according to the FRONTEX Manual.
On January 16, 2019 the French Frigate departed Limassol Port. With the coastline of Cyprus in the background, she engaged in a common exercise with Naval Units coordinated by the Command & Operations Centre, of the Cyprus Navy. The cooperation executed with a Surface Exercise (SURFEX) between the three Units.
On the 18th of January, the mutual training of the two Navies was continued between the FS ACONIT and the OPV IOANNIDES P-61, within an exercise area to the east of the Island. The PASSEX started off with a simulated boarding exercise. The FS ACONIT sent 2 rigid inflatable boats, with her team to conduct a simulated boarding exercise onboard the OPV.
Once the members of the boarding team get onboard, the two ships conducted divisional tactics. The EVOLEX was a very productive training for the two units to practice voice procedures and ship handling. After the maneuvers, and the completion of the boarding drill the team returned to the FS ACONIT. The Passing Exercise finished with the OPV IOANNIDES conducting a sail past by the FS ACONIT.
The successful execution of the PASSEX provided the Cyprus and French Navies, with an excellent opportunity to have fruitful training on various maritime issues of common interest, as they both operate in the Eastern Mediterranean.