FRENCH vessels on a five-month deployment across the world will descend upon Gosport‚Äôs shores for a series of action-packed training exercises.
The French navy‚Äôs amphibious landing helicopter dock, Tonnerre, and its anti-submarine warfare destroyer, Georges Leygues, will make their presence known at Browndown Beach on Friday and Saturday.
A combined amphibious task group made up of 200 army soldiers, 43 vehicles, four helicopters, two landing craft units and a landing catamaran onboard Tonnerre will all be taking part in the activities.
Georges Leygues is escorting the team.
There will be driver training, live fire exercises and an assault course.
The purpose of the exercises, part of the Mission Jeanne d‚ÄôArc deployment, is to give members of the French Naval Academy 2010-class valuable experience.
They left Brest, France, on Saturday and the Gosport stop will be one of their first ports of call.
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage said: ‚ÄòGosport has got an incredible history of serving the armed forces.
‚ÄòThis proves Gosport is still incredibly relevant in the days of modern military training.
‚ÄòIt‚Äôs fantastic that we are still at the forefront of cutting edge exercises.
‚ÄòBrowndown Beach is an amazing location and from the road you can‚Äôt really get a grasp of how large it is.
‚ÄòIt‚Äôs the perfect place for these type of amphibious landing groups.‚Äô
After their stay the vessels will travel to the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean, where they will take part in the European anti-piracy operation Atalanta.
They will also stop by in Chinese waters.
Captain Jean-Fran√ßois Qu√©rat is the commanding officer of Tonnerre.
He was born in 1968 in Toulon.
He graduated from the French Naval Academy in 1993 and completed his studies at the French Joint Defence College in 2007.