BEGM Thetis (A 785) mine warfare experiment ship
The AGE mine warfare experiment vessel is identical to the Lapérouse type hydrographic ship but with specific equipment. Based in Brest, Bâtiment d'expérimentation de guerre des mines (BEGM) Thétis's missions are to develop and assess future mine warfare systems, as well as public service missions. It can provide assistance to divers but also guide a convoy. Finally, the Thetis actively participates in the representation of France in the world.
With a crew of 40 sailors, the BEGM Thétis is a robust, versatile and enduring vessel. This 1000 tonne patrol vessel specializing in testing new mine warfare systems is also capable of intervening anywhere, both offshore and near the coasts for a variety of missions. It is part of the PPSM alert vessel flotilla. A flotilla made up of about twenty vessels for the Atlantic area with two ocean going tugs, two hydrographic vessels, eight training vessels, three sonar towing vessels. These naval vessels can be reinforced from time to time by a customs patroller and a maritime affairs patroller to keep the alert.
Permanent Posture of Maritime safeguard: PPSM in the jargon, includes a wide range of missions. Some are specifically military, others come under State action at sea. The PPSM participates in the general system for monitoring approaches to the territory. This extensive system from the coasts to the open sea makes it possible to guard against dangers, prevent and deal with a wide range of threats existing at sea or originating from the sea. The PPSM thus includes the surveillance of maritime approaches and the implementation of the Vigipirate plan in its maritime aspect, but also missions falling more under State action at sea, such as the fight against pollution at sea, the police fisheries, the fight against illicit trafficking, search and rescue at sea.
On February 26, 2012, the Thétis Mines Experimentation ship and its 45 crew members docked at the Edmond Foy quay in Bayonne. The building participated in the Bayonne Marine Military Preparation pennant ceremony which will take place on January 28, 2012 at 3 pm on the Place du Réduit. The population had the opportunity to visit the ship on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 January 2012 from 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
From February 27 to March 2, 2012, the Mining War Experiments Building (BEGM) Thétis left Brest, its home port, to carry out a week of fishing police and maritime surveillance off the French coast. In association with the Operational Centers for Surveillance and Rescue (CROSS), the Thétis checks the identity of boats and tries to identify those at "risk". The Thétis controls and checks the fishing vessels and that the declared quantity of fish corresponds with that actually present on board. The objective of these fishing police missions in the French Exclusive Economic Zone (ZEEF) is to avoid overfishing.
The PPSM is a permanent mission of the navy, ensured by an information network and a capacity for continuous action. It is based on: the PPSM warning building; maritime surveillance missions carried out by naval planes and helicopters; The semaphore chain over the entire seafront. If certain ships or aircraft are more particularly dedicated to maritime safeguarding, and this is the case of the Thétis, all the navy's resources at sea and in the air participate daily in the general surveillance and protection of maritime approaches.
The crew of the Thétis takes part in the development of the "surface" situation in connection with the semaphores, the maritime patrol planes or the means of the other administrations present in the area. The ship can reposition ships, identify them and, if necessary, take pictures of them in order to increase the maritime intelligence databases. If necessary, Thetis can deploy a visit team to carry out a flag investigation, a search, or even a diversion, all this according to the directives of CECLANT, the operational controller.
More than 3000 sailors are employed in mainland France (and 500 overseas) in the permanent missions of protection of the national territory and their fellow citizens. These sailors participate in a permanent intelligence, surveillance and action system, on land and at sea, for the overall security of the metropolitan coastline and its approaches along 5,853 km of coastline.
From May 26 to June 21, 2017, the mine warfare experimentation building (BEGM) Thétis conducted a monitoring mission of the bluefin tuna and swordfish fishing campaign in the Mediterranean for the benefit of the European Agency for Vigo Fisheries Control This fisheries police mission, conducted between the Libyan and Maltese coasts, was carried out under the coordination of the Etel National Fisheries Monitoring Center.
Administrative checks were carried out by sailors certified for this campaign by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). The count of the number of tunas in the seines and cages was carried out by the divers on board using an underwater stereoscopic camera. This control mission is also a presence and support mission in this particular area of ??the Mediterranean. Taking advantage of the presence of a doctor on board, several foreign fishing vessels called on the medical team to treat minor injuries and pain.