US Marines join French Navy’s Jeanne D’Arc task force for drills

U.S. Marines embarked on the French ship BPC Mistral in Sasebo, Japan, on May 4, 2017. Photo: US Marine Corps

U.S. Marine Corps have teamed up with other multinational forces to take part in the French Navy’s Jeanne D’Arc exercises that are set to take place from April 29 to May 18 on land and in the surrounding waters of Guam and Tinian.

Approximately 100 Marines from 3rd Marine Division joined forces from France, Japan and British Royal Marine Commandos honing their collective defense capabilities.

The multi-day training includes vertical assaults, amphibious raids, close quarter engagement techniques and urban patrolling.

Exercise Jeanne D’Arc is an annual French-led exercise aimed at strengthening strategic partnerships and exercising freedom of navigation operations across the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

French Navy amphibious assault ship FS Mistral and La Fayette-class frigate FS Courbet started their five-month amphibious deployment in March 2017. The deployment will see the task force travel as far east as Japan and Guam and as far south as the northern coast of Australia, with visits to Vietnam, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Djibouti on the 24,000-mile round-trip.

Two Royal Navy Merlins from 845 Naval Air Squadron are a permanent presence aboard FS Mistral which leads the deployment.

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