Posted by Robert Wall at 7/4/2008 2:57 AM CDT
There’s been much focus on France sending Rafale fighters to the U.S. for the upcoming Red Flag drill, but less attention has been on the French submarine participation during JTFEX 08.
(credit: French navy)
France is deploying the nuclear attack submarine SNA L’Amethyste on a two month deployment to the U.S. east coast and Caribbean. It will operate there as part of the USS Roosevelt aircraft carrier battle group.
The L’Amethyste late last month made a port call at the Fort-de-France, Martinique naval base, in part to assess the facilities ability to support nuclear submarines.
It was not the first such visit by an attack submarine, but the first in more than two years.
The next port call comes July 16-20 at Norfolk, Va., for final preparations to integrate in the U.S. carrier battle group. The goal is to demonstrate the ability to integrate with allied forces.
But JTFEX also provides the submarines an ability to hone their skills in protecting aircraft carriers that currently is lacking in France, with the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier in port for a prolonged period for overhaul.