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May 17, 2019updated 20 May 2019 9:50am

Multinational La Perouse exercises start in Gulf of Bengal

The US Navy and three other allied nations are taking part in La Perouse exercises in the Gulf of Bengal. 

The US Navy and three other allied nations are taking part in La Perouse exercises in the Gulf of Bengal.

French Navy aircraft carrier, FS Charles de Gaulle (R 91) and its escort ships joined vessels from the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and US Navy.

The ships performed a series of drills that included formation sailing, live fires, communications, search-and-rescue, damage control, and personnel transfers.

La Perouse is named in honour of an 18th century French Naval Officer and explorer.

French Carrier Strike Group commanding officer rear admiral Olivier Lebas said: “La Perouse is an opportunity to develop strong links, work habits and mutual knowledge essential for best practices between our navies operating in the same regions of interest.

“These exercises reflect our common involvement in maritime security in the Indian Ocean and Asia-Pacific area.”

“These exercises reflect our common involvement in maritime security in the Indian Ocean and Asia-Pacific area.”

In addition to R 91, other vessels taking part in the drills include US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS William P Lawrence (DDG 110), a RAN frigate, HMAS Toowoomba (FFH 156), submarine HMAS Collins (SSG 73), and JMSDF helicopter-destroyer.

US Seventh Fleet commander vice admiral Phil Sawyer said: “La Perouse shows that our maritime forces can work together well anywhere in the Indo-Pacific. It reflects our shared values, traditions and bonds as like-minded sea services.”

In a statement, US Seventh Fleet stated that such exercises allow allied maritime forces to undertake joint training and promote maritime cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.

Earlier this week, vessels from the US Navy and French Navy concluded a joint anti-submarine warfare exercise in the Indian Ocean.

The exercise was conducted to enhance unit-level training, improve the Charles de Gaulle Strike Group’s ability to respond to a submarine threat. In addition, the exercise allowed for increasing interoperability between the two navies.

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