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French warship to make port call in Manila

French Navy destroyer Lorraine will be making a port call in Manila from June 23 to 29, the Embassy of France said on Thursday.

In a statement, the embassy said Lorraine will hold several cooperation activities and high-level professional exchanges with Filipino authorities during the stopover.

The port call will take place during the official visit of the French Armed Forces in the Asia-Pacific Zone joint commander, Rear Admiral Geoffroy dAndigné, to the Philippines.

According to the embassy, these activities would show the interoperability and trust between the two armed forces.

It added that France aims to contribute to "regional security" by projecting assets from those islands in the region or from Europe.

"As Asia-Pacific is the center of gravity for the Lorraine’s deployment, it has interacted with a number of France’s strategic partners, such as the United States and Japan," the embassy said.

Since April 8, the French destroyer has been undergoing a long-duration deployment (LDD) before her commissioning, which is intended to determine her military capabilities, the embassy said.

"In the waters of the Pacific, a demanding operational environment, the destroyer’s endurance, the robustness of its combat system and tactical data links, and the performance of its sensors and command and control capabilities were tested and evaluated," it said.

Lorraine is the French Navy’s eighth and last Anti-Submarine Warfare destroyer, with the last two of them being fitted with enhanced air defense capabilities, according to the embassy.

''With a seasoned crew capable of conducting operations in all types of environment, the destroyer Lorraine trains for her main reasons: aircraft carrier escort, anti-submarine warfare and combating air threats,'' the embassy said.

Lorraine was in the Red Sea to support the EU NAVFOR ATALANTE operation for the evacuation of Sudanese and foreign nationals from conflict-torn Sudan.

Upon request from the United Nations, Lorraine embarked 400 nationals of around 60 different nationalities, including Filipinos, as part of a UN convoy coming out of Khartoum, the embassy said. —Joviland Rita/VBL, GMA Integrated News