RFA Argus links up with French Navy in the Caribbean

RFA Argus and French Navy ship FS Dixmude have sailed side by side in the Caribbean Sea as a multinational response to the COVID-19 pandemic assembles in the region.

The UK, Netherlands and France have all sent ships to the Caribbean to stand ready to support overseas territories during the COVID-19 pandemic if required.

Now a combined French, Dutch and UK team has been established to operate from Fort de France in Martinique, giving the three nations more agility and flexibility to respond to the spread of coronavirus throughout the Caribbean.

This was inspired by lessons learnt from military cooperation in the wake of Hurricane Irma in 2017.

And as support ship Argus – which is in the region primarily ahead of the approaching hurricane season but also in readiness to support any coronavirus response – sailed in international waters off the coast of Guadeloupe, she linked up with amphibious ship Dixmude to carry out radio checks and Officer of the Watch manoeuvres.

 

Multinational coordination is always very important during times of crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic is no different as it is a challenge that effects everyone, everywhere.

Captain Phil Dennis

The two sailed together, making sure they are up to scratch to work together in the future, before they continued on their respective missions.

“It was a real pleasure to link up with FS Dixmude,” said Captain Phil Dennis RN, commander of the Royal Navy Task Group in the region.

“Like us, she will be able to provide vital support to the overseas territories during this difficult time. 

“Multinational coordination is always very important during times of crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic is no different as it is a challenge that effects everyone, everywhere.”

Argus recently linked up with the Royal Navy’s permanent presence in the region, HMS Medway, to begin their combined disaster relief planning and preparations.