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Marine: meeting the women of Charles de Gaulle – France




240 women serve on board the flagship of the French Navy. They represent 14% of the workforce. That is to say 1,750 sailors, including the onboard air group (20 Rafale Marine fighters, two E2-C Hawkeye lookout planes, three helicopters) and the Carrier Strike Group headquarters. On deck, in the bowels of the ship or on the seat of a helicopter, they are essential for the smooth running of this floating hive which, from November 25 to December 3, took the lead of an impressive armada in the Mediterranean, with the objective of relearning the codes of high intensity combat.

At 17, Margaud ensures the safety of aircraft

“The pace is strong but I love being part of this very close-knit team. It was to experience this human adventure and to travel that I got involved, ”says 17-year-old Margaud. In all weather, day and night, the deckhand helps ensure the safety of aircraft on the flight deck. At the rate of the missions, it is necessary to “stall” and “shift”, “grip” and “remove” the devices. A year ago, the teenager, who dreamed of imitating her parents, joined the École des mousses de Brest. “It was a bit difficult to be deprived of the family and the smartphone, but I don’t regret a thing”. At the end of the day, head to the Hyères naval base, in the Var, to train in the “flight deck” specialty. Ranked fourth out of 12, she chooses the “Charles”. Under contract for four years, she already knows that she will do anything to “make a career in the Navy”.

Laetitia and her team of 16 sailors auscultate the planes

No aircraft movement is possible when the braking mechanism of the three transverse stopper arms on the bridge fails. These steel cables allow planes, on landing, to stop their course in 70 meters. Tonight, Laetitia and her team of 16 sailors worked hard to repair a defective part on “Athena”, the nickname given to the first section, the most difficult for the pilots to hang on to. “We are used to intervening when the activity stops on the bridge. These installations are subject to very significant forces. With the sailors who maintain the catapults, we form a big family ”, confides the one that the initiates call the“ master of the brakes ”. Laetitia, 38, holds a professional mechanical baccalaureate, joined at 17 and has climbed all the ranks. After this campaign, this “passionate about mechanics” will fly with her husband, a former sailor, and her three-year-old son, to Tahiti, where the brand new engines of the Bougainville, the new support unit await her. assistance.

Engineer, Pauline supports fighter pilots

To prepare for their mission, pilots are now well assisted, as the operating environment has become more complex. This is the role of Pauline, 30, an aeronautical engineer, who belongs to the flight operations management team (“COA”), a specialty that has emerged over the past ten years. Concretely, Pauline relieves the fighter pilots of all the tasks that are not directly related to the aircraft and the aeronautical flight plan. “From the weather to the characteristics of weapons or information on the enemy, I strive to collect and synthesize all the information useful for their mission,” testifies the young woman, holder of a civilian pilot’s license, who has started her professional life as an assistant to a US senator in Washington.

Marion gave up the Ena to be on board

On the bridge, Marion, 28, has been working as an understudy as a shift supervisor since arriving on board in August. Young officer under contract (“OSC”), this graduate in law and international relations gave up preparing Ena to “live a field experience, in the service of the defense of the country. The sea made me dream, and it is a space of freedom where international cooperation and tensions are embodied ”. On the Charles, she explains, the work of the shift supervisor is specific: “We have to anticipate the route which offers a sufficiently strong and stable wind to launch the planes. This can lead us to make sudden changes of course. Hence the importance of excellent coordination with the escorts around us ”. Finding herself at the heart of the Polaris 2021 exercise, the young woman confides: “I am starting to concretize a little better what the hypothesis of death at work means: the simulations of missile fire and damage are very thorough. “.




letelegramme Fr Trans

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