France sends Amphib Tonnerre to help Lebanon after explosion

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An MV-22 Osprey of the 263 Maritime Tilt Rotor Squadron (VMM) landed on the French amphibious ship FS Tonnerre on June 28, 2019, during the Semper Thunder exercise at Camp Lejeune, NC USNI News photo.

Earlier this week, France dispatched one of its amphibious ships to help Lebanon following a deadly explosion in Beirut.

The French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs announced on its website last week that the FS dock helicopter landing Thunder (L9014) would leave for Lebanon on Sunday. The French Ministry of the Armed Forces is also sending a cargo ship that was to leave Toulon, France.

“These resources will help to build support for health care, especially through the Thunderon-board hospital, engineering teams and equipment, airborne resources, as well as the transport of 200 [tons] flour, dairy products and baby products, 134 [tons] of food rations, 75,000 [liters] drinking water and reconstruction materials, ”the ministry wrote in a press release.

Thunder is a Mistral-class amphibious vessel that has participated in training exercises with the U.S. Marines.

In addition to Thunder, the ministry said it sent several flights last week with relief supplies and personnel to help Lebanon cope with the destruction caused by the blast. France has also scheduled three flights to Lebanon this weekend, according to the ministry.

“Medical aid amounts to more than 18 [tons] drugs, hygiene kits, vaccines and medical equipment. This aid makes it possible to treat more than 1,500 wounded ”, declared the ministry. “Food aid consists of a shipment of more than 663 [tons] of products, rations and food supplements. 20,000 [tons] of wheat and 20,000 [tons] flour can also be sent in the coming days.

French President Emmanuel Macron visited Lebanon last week after the August 4 explosion in the capital’s port. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 200 people died from the explosion.

Earlier this year, the French amphibious ship helped extract COVID-19 patients from Corsica and brought them to Marseille, France.

The British Royal Navy announced plans to send the HMS last week Business (H-88), a 3,700-ton study vessel, to help Lebanon measure destruction in its port. Business docked in Beirut on Monday.

The US Central Command announced last week that it would send three C-17 cargo planes with relief supplies to Lebanon.

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