Sunday, 20 June 2010

Another French Naval Visit...

Last week the French navy's Force Projection and Command Ship Mistral pulled in to the Port of Lome. She docked on the other side of our dock and were offering tours to Mercy Ships crew. And, of course, I went and joined one of these tours this past Thursday.

The Mistral was built in 2003 and commissioned in 2006, and as such is a very modern vessel. She has many different specialised facilities onboard. The ship carries amphibious landing craft and can flood the well deck in order to allow these craft to manoeuvre out. She is also able to carry many helicopters and has a large flight deck, resembling a small aircraft carrier. What was of specific interest to Mercy Shippers was the hospital that boasts 69-beds and two operating theatres onboard this ship. This can be expanded to 100-beds if necessary.

The Mistral was visiting Togo to drop off humanitarian aid and maintain the relationship between France and Togo. France always has a military presence - usually in the form of a warship - on this side of Africa.

Here are some photos of this amazing naval vessel.

The well deck where the amphibious craft are stored.

The helicopters onboard the ship.

The flight deck and main superstructure of the Mistral.

Looking down on the AFM.

Looking forward from the bridge.

The ship's large, modern gym.

Hospital waiting area.

One of the wards in the ship's hospital.

The two ships side-by-side.

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