From June 26 09:00 to 17:00, 2019, the FNS ACONIT F-713, La Fayette class, the OPV IOANNIDES P-61 of the Cyprus Navy and an AW-139 helicopter of the Cyprus Air Force, conducted in a very successful way, a series of training exercises to the south-east of Limassol, deepening operational cooperation between the Republic of Cyprus and France.
The joint aeronautical Passing Exercise (PASSEX) titled “CYP/FRA-05/2019”, was carried out in the framework of the bilateral “Agreement for Cooperation on Defence Matters”, that was drawn up between the Ministries of Defence of the two Countries.
The main goal of the mutual naval exercise was to improve interoperability and synergy, at a combined force level, between Cyprus Naval Forces and the French Navy, and also to foster relations between both Countries, in a way that will enhance their partnership.
The pre-sail meeting was held on the 24th of June, on board (o/b) the FNS ACONIT during the port-visit of the Warship in Limassol, where the Personnel of the involved Cyprus Units, had also the opportunity to go on a tour o/b the Ship of the French Navy.
On the same day, a common diving training was organised within the Limassol Bay, between the diving teams of the Cyprus Navy and the French Ship, aiming to promote the cooperation and to develop the knowledge, skills and diving abilities of the teams.
After her departure from Limassol Port, on Wednesday, the 26th of June, the FNS ACONIT joined the OPV IOANNIDES and then moved in formation towards an exercise area for the conducting of a sequence of naval drills, such as Live-Firing with their Naval Gunnery, in order to confront simulated Asymmetrical Threats in the maritime domain, and Medical scenarios/Combat First Aid.
These exercises were of a great value for the Crews to practice together aiming to implement the set objectives by deepening and broadening training as both Navies exposed to various operating procedures and activities.
In addition, an AW-139 helicopter of the 460 SAR SQN, took part in the joint PASSEX aiming to promote the aeronautical cooperation in hoisting procedures (WINCHEX), and Deck Landings Practice on the flight deck of the French Ship. During the cooperation with both Ships, a PHOTO exercise was executed simultaneously by the AW-139 helicopter of the Cyprus Airforce.
This sort of cooperation which is the fifth for this year, between the Cyprus and French Navies, provided their personnel with an excellent opportunity to practice alongside, and concurrently to carry out a fruitful and beneficial training on various maritime issues as they both operate in the Eastern Mediterranean, with the purpose to respond better to the new challenges, facing maritime security as well as to address humanitarian crisis and to support common interests.