“Orion should look like a war,” writes Le Figaro. Long before the start of the conflict in Ukraine, around 2020, given the state of international threats, the French General Staff decided to “reinforce” the training of its soldiers in order to prepare them for a possible high-intensity confrontation, an armed conflict. that militarily will not be easy. In Afghanistan or Mali, French soldiers did not need to be afraid of either enemy air defenses or artillery, at best fear of life-threatening ambushes, but no real, head-on, head-on collision with large enemy forces in numbers and power, military experts noted. Orion exercises should prepare all combat crew components for a potential full-scale confrontation.
From February 23 to March 11, some 7,000 soldiers, mostly French, but also British, Spanish and American, will simulate an amphibious landing between the settlements of Castres and Sète. The purpose of the training operation is to “conquer a foothold” in a fictional country called Arnland, “amidst destabilization organized by militias backed by a hostile state called Mercury,” Le Monde notes. The exercise will involve the aircraft carrier “Charles de Goll”, two large landing craft and more than twenty surface ships and submarines, as well as more than a thousand ground vehicles.
“We have never conducted an exercise of this magnitude in such a long period of time,” said General Yves Metaillet, who is in charge of planning the operation within the armies. The exercises will be led by an autonomous headquarters, which will make decisions based on troop movement on the ground, rather than a pre-written scenario.
This landing in the south of France will be followed by an even larger operation, which will take place from mid-April to early May, with the introduction of 12,000 troops into the Champagne region, in the north-east of the country, who will fight on land and in air. airborne to repel a direct “Mercury” invasion of Arnland. The equivalent of a division will be deployed on a front 50 kilometers long and 200 kilometers deep, with some 3,000 armored vehicles. “This is the return of big exercises to French territory,” said Major General Nicolas Le Nene, head of the Joint Operations Command of the French General Staff.