Speaking at the conference, General Patrich Charaix, Commander of the deployment code-named PEGASE 2018 said the French Air Force organised and coordinated the Mission Pegase in the Indo-Pacific region, with the involvement of three Dassault Rafale fighters, one Airbus A400M strategic airlifter, one Boeing C-135FR Stratotanker, and one Airbus A310 passenger transport aircraft.
The French Air Force mobilised 100 personnel for the deployment, he noted.
After taking part in the exercise Pitch Black (July 27 - August 17) in Australia, on its return journey to France, this squadron has been making visits to Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and India, and the United Arab Emirates.
According to General Patrich Charaix, the visits aim to strengthen France’s presence in the region, contributing to deepening its relations with key regional strategic countries.
They offered a good chance for France and the countries to promote exchange and experience sharing, as well as boost their future cooperation in military training.
The chargé d’affaires of the French Embassy in Hanoi, Olivier Sigaud said the squadron’s visit to Vietnam is part of activities to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Vietnam-France diplomatic ties (1973-2018), and the five years of their strategic partnership (2023-2018).
The event illustrates the dynamic France-Vietnam defence ties, he stressed.
Choosing Vietnam as a stop of the squadron shows that France highly values Vietnam’s importance and position in the bilateral cooperation between the two countries, he added.
The PEGASE 2018 is the largest French Air Force deployment to the region since six Dassault Mirage 2000s were deployed to the region in 2004, where they also took part in an earlier iteration of Exercise Pitch Black.