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Video and photo coverage: Catamaran 2014 large joint amphibious exercise with CVN, LHD, LPD

Special Coverage - Catamaran 2014 joint amphibious exercise
Video and photo coverage: Catamaran 2014 large joint amphibious exercise with CVN, LHD, LPD
By Xavier Vavasseur
From October 13 to 26, French forces (as well as British ones at staff level) take part in a large-scale operational exercise simulating an expeditionary amphibious operation in a crisis situation. The joint maneuvers take place in the western Mediterranean and the French Riviera. The French Navy (Marine Nationale) invited Navy Recognition to cover the exercise: We could witness some of the amphibious assault, we then got on board an EDA-R (L-CAT) to reach the Mistral LHD at sea and the pinnacle of the event was a tour on board the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier.
Navy Recognition video coverage of Catamaran 2014 large joint amphibious exercise
Large maneuvers such as Catamaran 2014 are not organized every year because they involve a lot of units and logistics: The French carrier strike group formed around the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier (CVN) Charles de Gaulle, the amphibious task group lead by two Mistral class LHDs, the mine warfare group, maritime patrol aircraft, French Navy special forces and marine infantry units of the French Army.

Catamaran 2014 is held too enhance the ability of the navy and army to conduct joint operations. It is also a "joint" because British troops occupy key positions in the various staffs of conduct and will be inserted in the advanced forces. Groups of clearance divers Italy and Slovenia will also participate in this training.
A VBCI getting off an EDAR/L-CAT sea to shore connector A VBCI getting off an EDAR/L-CAT sea to shore connector
In total, about 5,000 sailors and soldiers are deployed, including 1,000 with a logistical autonomy of 30 days on five surface ships. Eighteen helicopters the French Army aviation unit (ALAT), an onboard battle group composed by the 9th Marine Infantry Brigade (BIMa), a logistics sub-group created by the 1st logistics brigade and three command staffs on board the CVN and LHDs also participate in these maneuvers.
Rafale M number 39 about to "trap" on board Charles de Gaulle CVN
Ships and equipment taking part in Catamaran 2014
  • Carrier Strike Group:
    » Charles de Gaulle CVN
    » Airwing: 12x Rafale M, 6x Super Étendard Modernisé, 1x E-2C Hawkeye, 2x Dauphin, 1x Alouette III
    » Var command and supply ship (Durance class AOR)
    » Chevalier Paul air defense destroyer (Horizon class DDG)
    » Montcalm anti-submarine frigate (Leygues class frigate)
    » Surcouf light stealth frigate (La fayette class FFG)
    » Meuse supply ship (Durance class AOR)
    » Rubis class SSN
    » 2x ATL2 Maritime Patrol Aircraft
  • Amphibious Task Group:
    » Mistral amphibious assault ship (Mistral class LHD)
    » Tonnerre amphibious assault ship (Mistral class LHD)
    » Siroco landing platform dock (Foudre class LPD)
    » 2x EDA-R/L-CAT (Landing Catamaran) sea to shore connectors
    » 4x CTM (similar to LCUs)
  • Mine Warfare Group:
    » Thétis mine warfare experiment ship
    » Capricorne (Éridan/Tripartite class minehunter)
    » Orion (Éridan/Tripartite class minehunter)
    » Lyre (Éridan/Tripartite class minehunter)
    » Acheron (Vulcain class diver support vessel)
    » Pluto (Vulcain class diver support vessel)
    » Navy EOD diver units
  • French Navy Special Forces:
    » Commando Kiefer (unit specialized in UAV, C3I, EOD, NRBC)
    » Commando Hubert (unit specialized in combat diving, underwater operations)
    » Commando Montfort (unit specialized in fire support, sniper, JTAC)
    » Commando Jaubert (unit specialized in assault at sea, exfiltration, close quarters battle at sea)
  • French Army 9th Marine Infantry Brigade (BIMa):
    With various equipment such as
    » GBC 180, TRM 2000, TRM 10000 trucks
    » AMX-10RC wheeled battle tanks,
    » VAB and VBL armored personal carriers
    » VBCI infantry fighting vechicles
  • French Army 1st logistics brigade
CATAMARAN 2014 Picture gallery