[Portrait] Alexandre, Superintendent in New Caledonia

11 March 2024 Fleet services Story

Alexandre joined the three-member club of Naval Group superintendents in French Overseas Territories in December last year. Based in Noumea, in New Caledonia, he represents Naval Group for the in-service support (ISS) of the overseas support and assistance vessel (BSAOM) D’Entrecasteaux.

The position of Naval Group Superintendent exists only in France’s Overseas Territories.  What is your role?

Alexandre: It is my job to take the necessary measures to ensure that the BSAOM D’Entrecasteaux is operational, so that the French Navy can carry out its missions in the South Pacific. I act as Production Supervisor during the technical stops and I am also the local point of contact for our customer, the Fleet Support Service (SSF). I exercise this responsibility for the overall maintenance of the ship in close collaboration with the Program Director, the Manager in charge of coordinating all the work undertaken Overseas, the Supply Chain Manager and the Engineering Manager. All four are a part of the Naval Group Overseas Platform on the site of Brest (in metropolitan France).  

There are just three Overseas Superintendents at Naval Group: my peers take care of the ISS of BSAOMs Bougainville in Polynesia and Dumont d’Urville in the French Antilles. A Contract Manager at Piriou Naval Services is in charge of the ISS for the Champlain in the Reunion Island.


What are the specificities of in-service support (ISS) Overseas?

Alexandre: Given that New Caledonia is 17,000 kilometres from metropolitan France with a time difference of ten to eleven hours, anticipation is the operative word! Each BSAOM has a maintenance plan which includes annual technical stops to carry out preventive work as well as upgrades. The objective being to anticipate without leaving anything out, we need to start planning far ahead for stocks of spares and have them either shipped or flown in. 


What happens in case of any damage?

Alexandre: My job involves directly interacting with the crew as well as with the SSF’s local branch and building a trust-based relationship. I go on board regularly and interact with the crew, remaining attentive to their needs with the objective of preventing any system shutdown, anticipating failures while helping them develop autonomy in taking care of potential technical events. Prevention is better than cure, that’s Naval Group’s philosophy! In case of any damage, the Superintendent plays a crucial role, ensuring action is taken at the earliest. This implies not only making sure a local stock of spares is at hand but also relying on the local industrial ecosystem. My mission thus involves consolidating existing ties with local partners and contributing to forging new relationships when required.


How would you qualify Naval Group’s expertise as far as carrying out ISS in Overseas Territories goes?

Alexandre: I will answer that question based on my previous experience as a sailor, having served as a Mechanic in the French Navy for 18 years. Within the military framework, I’ve seen various contributors working on ISS. Naval Group, and its partner Piriou, stands out in terms of its expertise as designer and shipbuilder. As Superintendent, I can count on a community of technical experts who have an in-depth knowledge of the vessel and are in the best position to respond to the French Navy. This strength really sets us apart from others in this line of work. 




The Fleet Support Service (SSF) entrusted Naval Group and Piriou Naval Services with the ISS contract for BSAOMs in December 2022. In addition to the logistic support provided to the French Navy, this contract also covers 22 technical stops until 2029 as well as the upgrade of several systems for the four BSAOMs.

Portrait : Alexandre - Naval Group

Credit : Vassel- The French Navy