The Rhin : a mobile logistics support vessel

V. française

English version

The Rhin was launched in 1964. She belongs to a serie of five vessels to be used as a mobile logistics support force within a fleet supply force. The Rhin is a MSLF vessel specialized in electronics and usually as a stock of 60 torpedos. She has sailed in the Mediterranean up to the early 1980s. Towards 1982, as the concept of fleet supply force was outdated, three similar vessels - Rhin, Rhone and Garonne were deployed overseas to maintain vessels operating far from the mainland arsenals. The Rhin was sent in the Indian ocean where she was assigned with the multipurpose workshop vessel Jules Verne. She lost her electronic specificity and was devoted to the maintenance of other vessels. She was turned into a MSLF ship alternately maintaining the maritime forces in Djibouti, Mayotte and La Réunion. After many years spent in the Indian ocean she definitely left the aera in 1995 and is now supporting the forces that have taken station in the West Indies and Guyana.

The crew of the Rhin is made of two distinct entities : - 70 specialists regular sailors from the crew of the fleet with an adequate training in metropolitan arsenals. Their job is to run the workshops; - 90 crew members in charge of providing the float with energy.

To carry out her mission, the Rhin needs :

  • adequate industrial equipement (test rigs, machine tools);
  • spare parts (10,000 items permanently stored aboard);
  • raw materials (timber, various metals).

The required equipement are gathered on the request of the Navy command staff according to the composition of the force to be supported and the vessels to be maintained.

How it works : There is an organization office in charge of coordinating the logistic support. Its main tas are :

  • to get the list of the works to be done on the supported vessels;
  • to manage the order of spare parts necessary to planned support operations; to supply the stock with new raw materials.

The spare parts are managed in a storeroom thanks to a computer network. The storeroom is part of the supplying system of the Navy, which is under the aegis of the "Direction des constructions navales". The storeroom, directly connected with a central computer system in France, contributes to the resplenishment of the Navy units. Besides, the Rhin carries out regularly her own maintenance on the very aera of her deployment. Every five years she goes back to France for a thorough careening.

Her missions : The Rhin supports destroyers, patrol biats or other small units. She also takes part in more classic and permanent missions : presence, safety and public services, which are the usual duties of any naval vessel. Thus she can successfully make up for the lack of heavy support infrastructure in this part of the world.

More about the Rhin : BSM type ships :
  1. A615 : Loire
  2. A617 : Garonne
  3. A621 : Rhin
  4. A622 : Rhone

She was not the first vessel to bear this name.

A frigate took part in the battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805 as a spotted and signal repeater. Then a propeller carriage, built in Rochefort in 1854, was used to convey troops in the Pacific area and along the coast of South America. She was laid in 1886.

From 1924 to 1942 another carriage - the ex Tourville - was assigned to the training of officers in the Mediterranean till the scuttling of the fleet in Toulon in November 1942.

There was also a little unarmed 2455-ton colonial cargo built by the Paquet company. First chartered by the special services of the Ministère des colonies, she was offered to the Royal Navy by PERI - her radio telegrphist officer who had captured her. She then became HMS Fidelity and in 1941 was twice sent on special assignements; to drop agents on the French and Algerian coasts. The following years, after the loadingof two sea planes and the reinforcement of the DCA she was sent to transport commandos to Indo-China. On 30 December 1942 as she was part of a convoy, she was intercepted by German submarines. After coming under two torpedos she sank with lieutenant-commander Langlais (Peri's new name) aboard.

Rhin is a river too :

Le Rhin est aussi un fleuve qui s'étend sur 1320 km à travers la Suisse, où il prend sa source, l'Autriche, l'Allemagne et la France et les Pays Bas où il va se jeter dans la mer. Sur l'emblème du Rhin, on le voit dompté par le dieu Wotan, "Odin la Fureur", dieu de la guerre, de l'écriture, de la magie et de la poésie, à l'ombre du château de Katz.

Captains of the Rhin
CF Riboulot 8 septembre 1962
CC Candela 24 janvier 1964
CC Balleyguier 22 juillet 1965
CC Lavole 14 janvier 1967
CC Barnouin 5 janvier 1968
CC Reul 4 juillet 1969
CC Franiatte 10 juillet 1970
CC Perisse 2 juillet 1971
CC Tortuaux 8 décembre 1972
CC Rouault 14 juin 1974
CC Vinot 20 juin 1975
CC Graffin 21 juin 1976
CF Dubrulle 30 juin 1977
CF Eychenne 3 novembre 1978
CF Moutard 12 novembre 1979
CF Moulins 6 mars 1981
CF Roy 6 mars 1982
CF De la Tourette 7 mars 1983
CF Baggio 6 mars 1984
CF Harismendy 27 juin 1985
CF Martin 23 juin 1986
CF Durand 4 juin 1987
CF Tournyol du Clos 1 juillet 1988
CF Aury 11 juillet 1989
CF Fouche 12 juillet 1990
CF Beauchesne 29 juin 1991
CF De Linarès 13 juillet 1992
CF Valat 7 juillet 1993
CF Rome 11 janvier 1995
CF Corre 22 mars 1996
CF Oger 22 janvier 1998

Main Caracteristics

  • Class : M.L.S.F. vessel
  • Crew : 12 officers 63 non-commissioned officers 90 ordinary ratings
  • Length : 102 meters
  • Breadth : 16 meters
  • Draught : 4.5 meters
  • Displacement : 2,500 tons
  • Propulsion : 2 SEMT diesel engines, Pielstick type 16 PA2 each develloping 1,500 CCS on a single shafting Speed : 15 knots
  • Equipement : 3 40 mm guns
  • 3 12.7 mm machine-guns
  • Storerooms : 900 m2 1.700 m3
  • Aircraft equipment : Helicopter and platform for 2 helicopters (Alouette 3 type)

[Sommaire Net-Marine]