Sunday, March 17, 2024

What's in a Name - French warship arrives

 The French naval vessel Premier-Maître L'Her arrived in Halifax this morning, March 17, and berthed at HMC Dockyard Jetty November Bravo 3. It was soon boomed off - indicating that it may be fueling while in port.

 The 1,000 ton displacement ship is a Type A69 Estienne d'Orves class "aviso" which loosely means a lighter weight vessel such as a sloop or corvette.  However when the ship was commissioned in December 1981 it was classed as a patrol frigate and assigned the pennant number F792. It is more properly an offshore patrol craft, as later ships of the class were designated, and is most frequently used for sovereignty and security enforcement and has served with NATO. Interestingly it does not display a pennant number.

This is likely the ship's last deployment as it is scheduled to be paid off this year.

The ship is named for a World War II hero who carried the rank of Premier-Maître [translation: First-Master] a warrant officer or NCO rank, designated OR-8 in NATO terminology or Chief Petty Officer second class in Royal Canadian Navy terminology. 


French naval vessels visit Halifax about once a year as part of their regular activities at the Territorial Collectivity of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon off the south coast of Newfoundland. The French territory is an archipelago of several islands and includes an exclusive economic zone that extends due south 200 nautical miles out to sea to a point well south of Halifax. Although narrow, the zone measures 4,768 square miles and is entirely surrounded by Canada's Exclusive Economic Zone. The boundaries were settled in 1992 by arbitration.


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