French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle docked on Friday morning in Limassol port.
After its arrival, French Lieutenant Marc Aussedat, commander of the Task Force 473 of which the carrier is part said he was pleased with the hospitality in Cyprus, “which has always been a partner of the French navy.”
Admiral Aussedat said that the Task Force 473 consists of the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier and a number of support vessels involved in “inherent resolve”, against ISIS.
Although there is no longer an Islamic State, he said, there are activities of its fighters that the task force is trying to bring to an end.
He added so far no targets have been hit by aircraft.
The contribution to the operation by the aircraft carrier, he said, focuses on reconnaissance flights, while noting that “our aircraft are ready to show their presence by air and if needed, we could attack targets.”
For his part, the pilot of the aircraft carrier, Captain Guillaume Pinget, said the Charles de Gaulle departed from Toulon, France on January 21, and after a month at sea, staff will have a break in Cyprus until February 26.
He explained the aircraft carrier has 1,200 sailors and 600 marines, as well as members of navy personnel, while it currently transports 20 Rafale Marine fighter aircraft, two E-2C Hawkeye early warning and control aircraft, a Caïman helicopter and two Da-helicopters.
Pinget said the aircraft carrier could remain at sea for long periods of time, since it can be refueled and equipped at sea, but noted that staff has to rest on land at intervals.
He recalled that the French aircraft carrier visited the port of Limassol in 2010 and 2016 and expressed his satisfaction with the level of service and hospitality in Cyprus.
President Nicos Anastasiades and other government and military officials as well as members of the diplomatic corps serving in Cyprus are to attend the vessel on Saturday at 12.20 when a reception is to take place.