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Friday, March 24, 2023

France begins “the biggest military exercise in decades”

French naval, air and land forces are conducting a military exercise “of unprecedented scale” “Orion-2023”, intended to prepare the military for “high intensity combat operations”. This was announced on Twitter by the French Minister of Defense, Sébastien Lecornu.

According to the head of the French Ministry of Defense, the joint maneuvers will be “the most important for several decades”.

“The exercises, which will last more than two months, aim to prepare our forces for the most difficult situations of modern warfare and show that we have an army capable of demonstrating responsiveness and endurance in conditions of high intensity conflict. “, says the message. said.

According statement French Ministry of Defense, the aim of the exercises is to demonstrate France’s ability “to enter the first in the theater of operations and to lead a multinational coalition”. The cost of the maneuvers is estimated at 35 million euros.

According to Lecornu, Orion will employ a total of 20,000 people who will simulate combat operations in all environments (land, sea and air), as well as in new areas (cyber, information and outer space). The exercises will concern 14 departments of France.

At first, Orion stood in the south of the country and on the island of Corsica. In particular, from February 23 to March 11, about seven thousand soldiers – not only French, but also British, Spanish and American – will carry out a sea and air landing between Castres and Sète on the coast of the Gulf of Lion, writing The world. Later, the exercises will also affect the Atlantic coast of the country.

The French Ministry of Defense clarified that Orion has four phases:

operational planning, which started in May 2022; introductory activities – deploying forces and conducting an air-sea campaign (expected to be completed by mid-March); civil-military work, involving the adaptation of authorities to decision-making in a crisis situation (end of March); carry out a large-scale operation in Champagne, in which air and ground combat is planned (mid-April – early May). 12 thousand soldiers will participate in this phase.

The exercise will include:

new Griffon army armored vehicles, Leclerc tanks, air defense systems, combat aircraft, two amphibious helicopter carriers, more than 20 ships and submarines, the French Navy’s Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, more than 1000 units of ground equipment.

“We have never conducted an exercise of this magnitude over such a long period,” said General Yves Metayer, who is in charge of planning the operation.

According to Le Monde, the exercises in France have been prepared since 2020, but after the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine, the French general staff widened the scope of maneuvers to prepare the armed forces for a high-intensity conflict.

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