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Dégrad des Cannes is the main seaport for the French Overseas department of French Guiana, situated in the northern edge of South America and opening into the Caribbean. The seaport is located on the estuary of the Mahury River.
It also serves as the main base for the French Navy in the Caribbean and one of five French naval bases not located within Metropolitan France (excluding foreign bases). The naval base is located to the east of the main commercial port along Route des Plages. A small pier for naval vessels to dock connects to the main barracks. The base has a small helipad. The naval base is home to 160 personnel, some from the French Navy and the rest from the Maritime Gendarmerie and headed by a Commandant.
Currently there are two P400-class patrol vessel (L'Audacieuse class) stationed at the base:
The vessels are used mainly for sovereignty patrols, assisting the Maritime Gendarmerie in fisheries patrol vessels and protecting the Guiana Space Centre further west along the coast.
Both naval patrol vessels are to be replaced by newer light patrol vessels (Guiana Light Patrol Boats to be built by Socarenam) in 2016-2017.
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