French Navy Ship LHD Mistral visits Ghana

BY: Daily Graphic
A French navy ship

A French Navy ship, Landing Helicopter Deck (LHD) Mistral, which is on a six-day official routine port call to the country, has berthed at the Tema Harbour.

The visit is to reinforce the existing ties between the French Navy and Ghana’s naval forces. Under the command of Captain Benoit du Guibert since September 2013, the LHD Mistral has a staff of 25 officers, 131 petty officers and 62 seamen.

During a press briefing on board the ship, Captain Guibert said the landing helicopter decks of the Mistral class were conceived to answer, as best as possible, to operational requirements.

He also said their capacities reinforced significantly the French and European means in the areas of force projection and both inter-army and inter-allies commandment at sea.

It could be involved in a wide variety of operations, such as population rescue interventions, helicopter or amphibious operations, flagship and command of a force, troops and freight transportation, among others.

On the occasion of this routine port call, he noted that interactions between the Ghana Navy and French Navy might also be organised in the framework of the Nemo multilateral exercise, which seeks to develop the coordination between the main Navies in the area of the Gulf of Guinea.

The exercise aimed at facilitating the sharing of information, monitoring of suspicious activities and the coordination of the appropriate actions.

The French Ambassador to Ghana, Mr François Pujolas, recalled that both countries were developing stronger ties, as was reaffirmed by President John Mahama and President Francois Hollande during their last meeting in Paris on October 5, 2015.

“Cooperation in the field of defence and security is a key priority”, the Ambassador stated. He cited as a very good the regional cooperation to face the challenges of maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.