NATION

Vessel Makes First Voyage To Suva

  A French Navy vessel yesterday made its first voyage to the port of Suva  for a three-day visit. The B2M D’Entrecasteaux is a modern multipurpose supply vessel where the
13 Mar 2017 11:00
Vessel Makes First Voyage To Suva
Members of the Fiji Military Force band strike a welcoming tune while the French Naval boat the B2M D'Entrecasteaux docks at the Princess Wharf in Suva yesterday.Photo:Jone Luvenitoga

 

A French Navy vessel yesterday made its first voyage to the port of Suva  for a three-day visit.

The B2M D’Entrecasteaux is a modern multipurpose supply vessel where the French Navy officers in conjunction with Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) and Ministry of Defence will be doing some joint operations.

The programme was put in place for the ship’s commanding officer and the crew for the visit.

Discussions will be around matters pertaining to mutual interest, military bilateral relations between the two countries and professional training between the two navies.

French Ambassador to Fiji Michel Djokovic said: “The D’Entrecasteaux is military purposed ship just commissioned by the French authorities at the request of the Ministry of Defence.

“We are very happy here in Fiji to have this first protocol.

“It’s part of a cooperation programme now reinitiated and reactivated in October 2014 in the frame work of which there were already different protocol for the surveillance frigate and patrol boat here in Suva and Lautoka.

“This new protocol is part of this programme and we want to strengthen the cooperation and strengthen bilateral relations,” he said.

Mr Djokovic said the Fijian Navy and RFMF participated in the regional exercises in New Caledonia last year and it was very successful.

“It is part of these kinds of joint exercise in order to get acquainted for the crew to be familiar with the Fijian counterparts here,” he said.

“It can be very useful in case of natural disasters; of course we are all in mind about the Tropical Cyclone Winston one year ago.”

“But, from the French embassy here in Fiji will be very happy to assist and facilitate these measures and cooperation,” he said.

Mr Djokovica said he could not confirm but there were plans for more French Navy Ship coming to Fiji for similar joint operation in Fiji.

Lieutenant Commander Bariller Benoit said: “Together with the ship, I have arrived in Fiji for the first time.

“Tomorrow (Today) I will meet with Ministry of Defence and we will exchange about all cooperation between French Forces and Fiji Forces.

“We have planned to visit Fiji twice in 2017 to conduct a similar operation.”

Lieutenant Commander Benoit said he hoped they the two navies would learn and exchange during the exercise.

Students from Suva schools will visit the ship today.

The ship will depart for Tonga on Wednesday morning.

Edited by Rusiate Matika

Feedback:  shahani.mala@fijisun.com.fj



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