France/Algeria
Joint maritime surveillance and security operation       
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France and Algeria will undertake a joint maritime surveillance and security exercise named Raïs Hamidou 10 from 2 to 19 March 2010 in the western Mediterranean within the framework of the strengthening of bilateral cooperation and friendship between the two countries stemming from the defence agreement signed on 21 June 2008.

The exercise follows on from the one carried out from 30 January to 15 February 2009 to consolidate the operational coordination between the French and Algerian navies to develop interoperability between navy units, share know-how and experience, thus promoting the two navies' readiness to act jointly and respond to crisis situations. The exercise will unfold over four phases: from 2 to 9 March 2010 in Toulon to "create cohesion between the two countries' crews" and prepare the operations at sea, including workshops, conferences and courses; from 9 to 13 March off the Algerian coast in the stretch between Toulon and Oran; a complementary joint aero-maritime surveillance, interception and assistance operation between Oran and Algiers from 13 to 16 March; and a final evaluation and de-briefing phase after disembarking in Algiers from 16 to 19 March.

The French deputy squadron admiral Yann Tainguy, prefect for the Mediterranean region, whose responsibilities include all the domains in which the state's activity at sea is concerned and the coordination of all actions and means used by administrations whose activities have sea-related components, will oversee the exercise, travelling to meet his Algerian counterparts in Algiers on 16 and 17 March. Tainguy is responsible for the rescue of people and goods, prevention and countering sea pollution, "maintaining public order at sea", hydrography and nautical information.
The means that will be made available for the exercise include a French surveillance frigate, "Germinal", with a Lynx helicopter on board, one maritime surveillance aeroplane of the Atlantique 2-type, the Toulon maritime operations centre (Centre d'Opérations Maritimes, COM) and the Toulon naval base's onland training facilities. On the Algerian side, two coastguard patrol boats, one corvette equipped with missiles, one sea rescue boat and a plastron boat, one maritime surveillance aircraft, one group of naval fusiliers and the national surveillance and rescue operational centre (Centre National Opérationnel de Surveillance et de Sauvetage, CNOSS) based in Algiers.

Sources:

Exercice algéro-français de surveillance et de sécurité maritime, Le Portail des sous-marines, 26.2.2010

Press dossier on the 2009 exercise: "Exercice Franco-Algerien Rais Hamidou 08"

El Moudjahid (Algeria), 28.2.2010


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