The Command and Supply Ship "SOMME" arrives in Singapore on 15 til 21 June 2010
FRANCE AND EUROPE : TWO MAJOR RESIDENT ENTITIES OF THE INDIAN OCEAN
For centuries, La Reunion, Mayotte, and Les Iles Eparses, have been French territories. The direct consequence is the fact that France is a nation bordering the Indian Ocean. All those islands are territories where European regulations are enforced and where the Euro is the legal currency. Ensuring the security of the one and half million French citizens living there as well as the security of its territories and economic zones is hence a vital mission and legitimate duty.
FRENCH MILITARY ORGANIZATION IN THE INDIAN OCEAN
The defence of French strategic interests in the area relies on a military structure consisting of three separate joint commands. One is based in the French department La Reunion, on the eastern coast of Madagascar, another in the Republic of Djibouti, by virtue of a defence agreement with this country.
The admiral commanding the maritime zone of the Indian Ocean (ALINDIEN) is the third
command. He is permanently onboard a command and supply ship.
The three joint commands work under the direct authority of the French Chief of Staff. All three services (army, navy and airforce) placed under his authority cooperate in supporting each other and carrying out complementary missions.
France is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. To aim at preventing and settling crisis, France keeps on promoting dialogue and cooperation within the framework of international laws. Being a major actor of international relations, it also promotes the freedom and security of maritime circulation.
Within this context, the missions carried out by ALINDIEN are manifold :
the French contribution in ensuring the highest possible level of stability in the area, as well as its participation in the programs of peace enforcement. ALINDIEN brings its logistical and tactical support to actions carried out in coalition with other countries, outside the Arab Persian gulf, as part of the international U.N. mandated operation "Enduring Freedom" (Operation aimed against international terrorism) ;
the French contribution in securing the maritime areas patrolled by ALINDIEN ;
leading humanitarian operations that may include civilians’ evacuation ;
defence diplomacy. ALINDIEN’s command and support ship sails around the entire area :
from the eastern coasts of Africa to the South China Sea. Each call is an opportunity for
ALINDIEN to meet political and military authorities and to hold talks within the framework of bilateral cooperation.