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FASF Stops in Malaysia for the Mission Pegase 23

SHAH ALAM: Malaysia became one of the 10 countries that the French Air and Space Force (FASF) stopped by in the Mission Pegase 23 to undergo training with the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF).

The PEGASE 23 in this country is led by the Commander of the FASF Air Combat Brigade, Brigadier General Vincent Coste together with more than 100 officers and members of the FASF.

At a press conference at the Subang Air Base here today, Vincent said the Pegase 23 mission covered 11 stops in 10 countries including Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan and Malaysia and underwent a training mission with 14 air forces including the RMAF.

He said, a total of 19 aircraft participated in this mission, namely four A400M Atlas aircraft, 10 Rafale fighter aircraft and five Airbus 330 Multi-Role Tank Transport (MRTT) aircraft along with 320 male and female FASF officers and members.

However, he said, for the exercise in Malaysia from 23 to 28 June, only four Rafale fighter aircraft, one A400M Atlas aircraft and two Airbus 330 MRTT Phenix aircraft participated in the exercise.

“The exercise is to strengthen the FASF’s role in the Indo-Pacific region because France has permanent troops in the Indo-Pacific region, with more than 6,000 soldiers.

“In addition, it has the role of carrying out military cooperation, strategic dialogue with military and civil authorities, armament cooperation and regular operations,” he said.

He added that France is in a position to carry out military operations anywhere in the world to defend its interests, protect its citizens and defend freedom of action and movement in accordance with international law.

Today’s press conference was also attended by the French Ambassador to Malaysia, Axel Cruau; Deputy Chief of Staff 1, Air Operations Command Headquarters, Brigadier General Ayub Khan Mohammad Khan and Subang Air Base Commander, Brigadier General Dr Norazrin Shamsudin.

Axel in his speech, said the main goal of the Pegase 23 Mission is to deploy a large-scale presence of FASF forces from France in the Indo-Pacific region.

He said, the presence of the French air force is not intended to present a threat to any country or cause confrontation, but it is to send a strong strategic signal.

“France wants to assert its sovereignty and demonstrate its ability to protect its interests around the world.

“This mission strengthens our defense partnership by seeking better interoperability and operational effectiveness with our partners in the Indo-Pacific region,” he said.

He added that France is an Indo-Pacific country with two million French citizens living in the region, particularly in French overseas territories, which represent nine million square kilometers of exclusive economic zones (EEZ) and France has a permanent military presence in the Indo-Pacific.

“France’s deployment in the Indo-Pacific region is carried out within the framework of France’s Indo-Pacific strategy which supports a balanced and non-confrontational approach, protection of international law and free access to open areas,” he said.

“As a member of the United Nations (UN) and a permanent member of the Security Council, France is determined to defend international law and access to open areas,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ayub Khan said, this kind of joint exercise is seen to strengthen the good cooperation and interoperability between the RMAF and the FASF in line with the current geopolitical environment.

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