FANC - Operation to assist the population in Vanuatu

Vanuatu was hit in March by two cyclones: JUDY on March 1st and KEVIN on March 3rd. In this area vulnerable to natural disasters, the presence of the Armed Forces in New Caledonia (FANC) allowed the deployment of intervention capabilities and support to the affected populations at short notice.

In this context, the FANC was requested by the government of Vanuatu to carry out several reconnaissance flights in Falcon F200 Gardian aircraft in order to assess the damage. Numerous measures were implemented to provide assistance to the population, demonstrating the reaction capabilities of the French Armed Forces in coordination with the local authorities. This event also demonstrates the excellent cooperation established between Australia, New Zealand and France. In coordination with the New Caledonian High Commission and the New Caledonian government, the FANC sent a detachment of the Pacific Marine Infantry Regiment (RIMaP-NC) and the Civil Security, on board the Overseas Support and Assistance Ship (BSAOM) D’Entrecasteaux. 3.7 tonnes of cargo from the Crisis and Support Centre (CDCS) were transported.

The activation of the FRANZ diplomatic system made it possible to transport several tonnes of foodstuffs by Australian and New Zealand aircraft to D’Entrecasteaux. This manoeuvre was carried out with the assistance of the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) staff. The French ship then headed to Tanna Island to deliver its cargo and disembark the French section.

On 6 March, 15 New Caledonian electricians arrived in the capital on an additional CASA rotation to restore power to the main island, which had been without power for several days. A Puma helicopter was then deployed during the night to complete the international aid operation on site in order to access the most remote areas of the territory, while the clearing operations carried out by the RIMaP detachment on the island of Tanna are continuing.

This short-notice deployment allows for rescue operations in the event of a natural disaster. Testifying to the relevance of the sovereignty mechanisms of the armed forces deployed overseas, this rescue operation demonstrates France’s commitment to helping the population and protecting the French. This sequence reaffirms the quality of inter-state and effective regional cooperation within the zone.

The Armed Forces of New Caledonia (FANC) enable France to have a permanent military presence in the South Pacific Ocean in order to protect French interests in the region and to maintain France’s military partnerships in this area of strategic interest. With more than 1,450 military personnel, the FANC provides regular support to the State’s action at sea. They have the capacity to intervene in the event of a security or climatic crisis affecting the area. The FANC regularly share their expertise in the field of assistance to populations victims of natural disasters or maritime security with the security and defence forces of partner countries in the South Pacific.

Source : EMA

Last updated on: 13 March 2023