Don’t worry, the FS Garonne hauled HMS Albion to assess its pulling strength and abilities as part of a testing exercise.

The Garonne is one of four new specialist Loire-class support ships built for the French Navy designed to provide a multitude of services, from supporting diving operations and dealing with pollution in the aftermath of a spillage at sea, to assisting submarines and surface ships, including salvage operations.

According to the Royal Navy:

“With HMS Queen Elizabeth deployed and her sister Prince of Wales undergoing maintenance in Portsmouth Naval Base, the next largest British warship HMS Albion – 18,500 tonnes, 176 metres long, 29 wide – acted as the ‘breakdown victim’ to test the Garonne’s towing ability.

The Plymouth-based amphibious assault ship pretended to be dead in the water in the Channel – with the Garonne throwing her a line, figuratively and physically. From the British side, the complex seamanship exercise was overseen by the MoD’s Salvage and Marine Operations (SALMO) team which provides salvage, towing, and heavy lift capability.”

Commander James Walton, HMS Albion’s Second in Command, was quoted as saying:

“Our French Naval counterparts are highly skilled and professional – it was a delight working with them. The ability to integrate quickly and effectively with international partners is a key component to operating as a global navy, supporting global Britain.”

Before participating in the Towing Exercise, Garonne carried out intensive trials and training to prove her ability to work with NATO’s Submarine Rescue System (NSRS). The jointly owned UK, French and Norwegian system is capable of diving down to a submarine in distress, docking with the escape hatches and carrying out an evacuation.

You can read more here.

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Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 days ago

Yes, I admit, I was aghast when I first read it. Come on, who else?

DP
DP
4 days ago

Me too! So it’s not a cunning plan by the RN to cut carbon emissions?!?! Net-zero and all that! 😆 Get the French to tow us!

Hermes
Hermes
4 days ago
Reply to  DP

Perfide albion! That was the plan, reduce your gas consumption by asking for a french towing ?

Lusty
Lusty
4 days ago

There’s nothing like a bit of Russian roleplay to get the blood pumping.

Jon
Jon
4 days ago

It’s a good headline. It makes you read the piece pretty damn quickly.

Ryan Brewis
Ryan Brewis
4 days ago

I was more confused than anything. It was the “through the Channel” bit that threw me off, didn’t make sense if Albion had broken down and wouldn’t it be done by our own tugs if so? To be honest it seemed a bit clickbait which also was a bit weird for this site imo.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
4 days ago

No, had it as tongue in cheek – but still checked!

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
4 days ago

I saw it in the news this morning and was expecting sensationalist headlines…

geoff
geoff
4 days ago

Morning Daniele. As I was reading the headline I was thinking-late April Fools/ Something to do with Father Christmas? The shame of it! And then realised that mischievous George was having us on!😆
Vive L’Entente Cordiale!!

Last edited 4 days ago by geoff
Aethelstanthecurious
Aethelstanthecurious
4 days ago

I’ve said it before, but it’s good to see.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
4 days ago

Nothing to do with this, but my exasperation finally needs an outlet over the latest gobsmack from our collective representatives.
Whilst the Royal Navy are doing their utmost to promote Global Britain, on our behalf & allegedly that of Westminster’s, our parliamentarians of all persuasions, including Head Honcho, embarrass us with with barely disguised sleaze, corruption and now talk of drunken behaviour directly associated with military commemorations.

Farouk
Farouk
4 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Just read that, the Labour MP was so drunk she needed a wheelchair to take her off the plane. In her defence she did say it wasn’t the 5 drinks she had, but rather the medication she was on for her predicament . The 2 SNP MPs are naturally blaming the tories for getting sloshed.

Last edited 4 days ago by Farouk
Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
4 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

I trust I’m too old and have read too much economic & political history to be that naive on the subject, F. Where there’s the opportunity for dominance & corruption it has always materialised to a greater or lesser extent. Though greater is getting more prevalent; you can observe the growing unbridled contempt among these ‘ruling classes’. In this country the ultimate epitome is most clearly evidenced among the ‘Lords’ and those that place them there for a few bob – the modern Rotten Boroughs, effectively. The UK is still a standard bearer for Democratic process, of course, but that’s… Read more »

geoff
geoff
4 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Morning Farouk. Yes a bloody disgrace and to top it,could there be anything more inappropriate than to send two ScotNats to a very British part of the globe. Obviously if Scotland were to leave the UK we would continue to jointly recognise the huge contribution that Scots made to the war effort and no disrespect whatsoever BUT Gibraltar takes great pride in her links with the United Kingdom so why send men who wish to destroy it?
Bad choice all round

Grant
Grant
4 days ago

We could use a couple of similar ships ourselves….

Steve M
Steve M
4 days ago
Reply to  Grant

RFA Diligence !! think she is still in Portsmouth awaiting disposal 🙁 another gapped capability.

Grant
Grant
4 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

Im sure there are plenty of newer oil exploration type boats which could be brought cheap…. or we could build something (insert rant regarding National Flagship here)

Tommo
Tommo
4 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

Custie Draft the Dil let the Auxiliary boys do all the hard graft bloody good Scran

Klonkie
Klonkie
4 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

Good point Steve. Watch RFA Argus go the same way in 2024!

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
4 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

With the foreign basing nowadays and using civilian shipyards there is little use and it certainly isn’t cost effective for something like Dilly anymore.

Afloat support in time of conflict get a STUFT and stick FSU containers on it.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
4 days ago
Reply to  Grant

We did have a couple of big ocean going tugs as part of the RMAS… Cannot remember the names as it was so long ago but one was always around Portland.
Any ideas??

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I have lots of tugs listed as being operated by SD, no idea which you would mean though.

Then of course you have the Northern River and Victoria.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
4 days ago

Purchase the Nikolay Chiker from Russia, they might not require it any longer!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GLn6KyzYo4

Last edited 4 days ago by Nigel Collins
Lusty
Lusty
4 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I remember the four tugs that wore the colours of the MCA – they were based in various locations in the UK until 2011.

The RMAS had the Typhoon class if that helps.

Steve M
Steve M
4 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

MCA had 4 ETV’s around UK but can’t find anything concret after 2011

Lusty
Lusty
4 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

We can thank Mr. Cameron for the loss of those ships. 😣

Gfor
Gfor
4 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

Anglian Princess, Monarch, Sovereign and Prince were the MCA tugs. Coalition government got rid of them to save costs. Anglian Princess knocked around between Falmouth and Plymouth.

simon
simon
4 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Roysterer Class operated by RMAS, I think the were all sold off by the late 90’s. They were over 1000 tons. SD Tempest is the biggest tug in service at the moment I think

Grant
Grant
4 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I remember in cadets we got to all have a go driving one on a trip from portland to weymouth harbour….. bet Serco dont let you do that anymore….

David
David
4 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Robust, Roysterer and Rollicker…..

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
4 days ago
Reply to  David

Rollicker… That was it… Great name for a boat…

Phil the Fuel
Phil the Fuel
3 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

When i left the RN in 87, i joined RMAS in 88 the Rollicker and her sisters use to roll on wet grass. SW/NW approaches were no fun in the winter.

farouk
farouk
4 days ago
Reply to  David

The CSB crew I belonged to, were invited for a huge piss up on the Rollicker for all the help we had given them during their time in the falklands. Fantastic bunch of lads.

Lusty
Lusty
3 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Speak of the devil… I just found this:

rollick.jpg
Gunbuster
Gunbuster
3 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Now I am nostalgic.
Towex with a T42, An original MK8, old style Pussers foulies HDLJ’s ready to auto inflate when you get goffered and those really carp orange immersion suits that they used to have.

I would have been , like a good WE, in the mess watching a video…Not a DVD but a proper VHS as this photo is before they where invented!

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
4 days ago

Outstanding Headline, George!

You thought of a great “hook” for that story!

John Clark
John Clark
4 days ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

You could tow a lot of dingies with that ship…..

I’ll just leave that idea there…

Tommo
Tommo
4 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Have you ever seen a multi plat tow rope part !!!!!! If you get my drift heads would roll

Garry Lister
Garry Lister
4 days ago

wow i thought it was the Russians again !

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
4 days ago

I know it was an exercise but the optics of this at this time are going to make daily mail and daily express readers very heated up.
Embarrasingly the RFA has lost its forward repair and engineeribg capability. Id much rather a couple of those vessels be built to a suitable multi role design then a £250 million Boris Johnson holiday yacht.

Sceptical Richard
Sceptical Richard
4 days ago

Allies continue to work together in a professional manner while their respective political masters continue to embarrass their countries on both sides of the channel. Shameful

Hermes
Hermes
4 days ago

If our politicians would be able to do what our soldiers/officers are doing…

What a beautiful world, at least for Europe.

Sceptical Richard
Sceptical Richard
4 days ago
Reply to  Hermes

Absolutely!

George
George
4 days ago

Hi folks hope all is well.
Must admit I was shocked at first glance.
As a side issue can any of you experts please advise me how France has more military numbers and assets in all three branches than the UK with less defence budget?
Upon checking the current NATO defence budgets for each nation:
France sits at 50,97 BUSD, the UK at 69,082 BUSD.
For example the UK also
appears to have less fighter jets, although France has many old Mirage.
Many thanks,
George

Hermes
Hermes
4 days ago
Reply to  George

For the budget, all countries doesnt have the same base calculations.
I dont think with have such a difference between us, we (France) probably spend more in fact.
From a french list I see: France 50B$, UK 48.7B$

The M2000 is perfect for hunt these Toyota in the desert, and always a great threat in the skies with the MICA. “Just” half the cost of a Raffy:

Last edited 4 days ago by Hermes
Klonkie
Klonkie
4 days ago
Reply to  George

Morning George. The RN has a disproportionally larger budget than the French navy. Also the French army has a larger number of legacy helos than the AAC.

Does that us$69 b include the UK foreign aid as that would skew the picture somewhat? I wonder if some of those legacy Mirage 2000s are likely to be in storage?

David Steeper
David Steeper
3 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

No. Foreign Aid is a seperate Dept. FCDO.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
4 days ago

The next CSG deployment should have a tug deployed as well to help out when the assigned T45 brakes down.

Tommo
Tommo
4 days ago

Ladbrooks the Bookmakers are stating odds even on T45s Breaking down and 1000 to 1 on going the whole deployment without incident. Steve if your a betting man

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
3 days ago

Makes a change from them towing migrant boats to the UK…

Lageraemia
3 days ago

The French have a ‘Revier’ class too! Cool.

Lageraemia
3 days ago
Reply to  Lageraemia

River

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
3 days ago

Just seen this

Sailboat Collides with French Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle – Naval News

Perhaps the Garron can tow the sail boat…

Big force protection issue though letting something get that close that you hit it!

Jon
Jon
2 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I liked the comment: damages are limited to the sailboat.