French warship ties up to warm Cairns welcome
CAIRNS has offered a warm "bienvenue" to one visiting French warship.
Arriving yesterday morning from its base in Noumea, French Navy frigate Vendemiaire is in the Far North on a diplomatic stopover before participating in a series of naval exercises with Australian forces next week.
The 2800 tonne, 95m long Floreal class vessel is home to 93 crew, with commanding officer Commander Joffrey Guerry saying the visit to Australia would achieve several objectives.
"The main purpose is to develop interoperability with the Australian navy," he said.
"We're not conducting combined operations yet, but between Cairns and Melbourne, we're going to develop interoperability with an Australian destroyer and a replenishment ship, HMAS Success."
Cdr Guerry said the Vendemiaire's crew would also send a delegation to the Remembrance Day ceremony in Cairns on Monday.
"We know that 337,000 Australians came to Europe to fight with us (during World War 1), so that's why we honour the memory of all those who died," he said.
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Naval power: The Vendemiaire's Commander Joffrey Guerry. Picture: MARC McCORMACK