Coalition air forces today deployed additional naval aviation and air forces units to bases near Libya, enabling highet operational tempo and faster response to development on the ground.
The French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle has deployed to its area of operation with its full air group including F3 Rafale, Upgraded Super Etendard attack aircraft, E-2C airborne warning and control aircraft and EC-735 SAR helicopters. Part of the carrier group are the frigates Dupleix and Aconite and naval replenishment/tanker vessel Meuse. Two additional frigates the Forbin andJean Bart are already deployed in theater, supporting the coalition effort surface and aerial surveillance assisting the enforcement of the ‘No Fly Zone’. From its planned position in the Southern Mediterranean, the French aircraft carrier will provide coalition air forces a forward operating bans close to the Libyan coast, improving the response capability of coalition air power. The French carrier has recently completed a four month deployment in the Indian Ocean.
While the Navy aircraft areto assume operations from the aircraft carrier at sea, aircraft of the Air Force were initially operating from the French air bases in Avord, Nancy, St Dizier, Dijon. Air bases at Istres, and Evreux Orleans for supported logistical and refueling flights. Rafale fighters arrived today at the Solenzara air base in Corsica, supporting the intensive operation of coalition fighters in enforcing the ‘No Fly Zone’.
RAF Typhoons have also deployed to a forward base in Gioia Del Colle in southern Italy. The Typhoons flew today their first operational sortie from a Deployed Operating Base. The aircraft, pilots and ground crew arrived here late on Sunday.