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Europe sends air power to Indo-Pacific after flexing naval muscle

France begins drill with Singapore, its new logistics partner

The French Air and Space Force drill Mission Pegase 2022 saw three Dassault Rafale fighters fly to New Caledonia within 72 hours.   © French Air and Space Force

TOKYO -- In a recent military exercise near New Caledonia, the fictitious island of "Badland" showed signs of invading its neighbor "Goodland." France, seeing that its territory was at risk, decided to deploy air assets to the region. The mission was to reach the theater in 72 hours.

On Aug. 13, three Dassault Rafale fighters, two Airbus A330 multi-role tanker transports (MRTTs) and two A400M Atlas transport aircraft arrived in the South Pacific from France within the allotted time. The convoy made short fuel stops in Sulur, India, and Darwin, Australia.

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