New Caledonia’s French armed forces engaged in military exercises on several Pacific fronts

New Caledonia-based French armed forces have been recently engaging on several Pacific operational theatres: Australia, Fiji and Vanuatu.

In Australia, a platoon of New Caledonia’s Pacific marine infantry regiment (RIMAP-NC) is taking part in a joint exercise, code name ‘Regional War fighter’, with Australian infantry forces at the Tully training camp in Queensland, from 1-23 March.

The aim is to further test the terrestrial capacity from both sides to “inter-operate” on joint intervention sites, including in Pacific Islands, the French Defence Ministry said in a release.

It further notes the joint training illustrates a “densification” of French-Australian military ties and a “common approach” on Pacific “stability stakes”.

Another French navy component based in New Caledonia, surveillance Falcon Jet aircraft Guardian, patrolled Vanuatu’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to monitor fishing activities on February 26.


This was part of a joint patrol with US Coast Guard vessel Harriet Lane under the Pacific Quadrilateral Defence Coordination Group, comprised of France, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.

The joint exercise was described as a “strong message to illegal fishing vessels operating in this maritime zone” and a “concrete example of international cooperation to the benefit of Pacific Island states”.

Still on maritime and fisheries surveillance, Nouméa-based support and assistance overseas patrol ship d’Entrecasteaux was in Fiji (Suva and Lautoka) earlier this month on a mission also focused on “environment protection and humanitarian assistance”.

During a four-day mission, the French vessel also patrolled in high seas north-west of Fiji for potential illegal fishing activities under a Forum Fisheries Agency fisheries policing mandate.

The d’Entrecasteaux crew also paid a courtesy call to Fiji’s military forces Blackrock camp in Nadi for an “exchange session”.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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