The French armies will organize a large-scale exercise mobilizing nearly 12,000 soldiers. The scenario will be that of a “major conflict with another state” its name “Orion”. – The Informant. 🇳🇱 #WeStandAsOne



The French armies will organize a large-scale exercise mobilizing nearly 12,000 soldiers. The scenario will be that of a “major conflict with another state” its name “Orion”.

But which state?

Published on 17.11.2022


Exercise “Orion”: The French armies are preparing for a major exercise in the first half of 2023, which will mobilize up to 12,000 soldiers on the territory, in a scenario of major conflict against a State.

Imagined in 2020 by General Thierry Burkhard then Chief of Staff of thearmy land, exercise Orion has become a joint and combined exercise, intended to verify the ability of the French armies to high intensity.

Deployment of the Army’s new Griffon armored vehicles, Leclerc tanks, but also ground-to-air defense systems, combat aircraft and the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier.

“The geostrategic context justifies this exercise” whose idea was born in 2020, well before the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, underlines General Yves Metayer, commander of the force employment division at the general staff. armies.

On 09/16/2022 already, it was “Exercise Manticore 2022” the army launches major maneuvers in Occitania.

Conducted until October 7, 3,000 soldiers from the 11th Parachute Brigade, the 4th Air Combat Brigade and special forces met in Occitania for the Manticore exercise.

“Hit fast, hard, far, but also unexpectedly… This Manticore exercise should also see, on the 11th BP side, an assault landing in Cahors then a drop on Rodez and it “will in fact be a first general rehearsal before the Operation Orion, which will unite 10,000 soldiers in 2023for the large-scale preparation of the French armies for a major conflict”, concludes a soldier.

What is “Orion”, the French army’s giant military exercise scheduled for 2023?

It’s a military exercise which will have the particularity of involving all the components of the armed forces (land, sea, air, space) in all the material and immaterial fields (cyber, information, etc.). Her name ? “Orio”. This unprecedented scale exercise since the Cold War prepared by the French armies will take place in the first half of 2023. It will mobilize up to 12,000 soldiers on the territory in a scenario of major conflict against a State, including the war in Ukraine confirms relevance.

The Army’s new Griffon armored vehicles, Leclerc tanks, but also ground-to-air defense systems, combat aircraft and the aircraft carrier will be deployed there. Charles de Gaulle and two amphibious helicopter carriers. European partners (Germany, United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, Spain) will also be associated with this exercise, as well as the United States, which will play a division in a digitized way.

“The geostrategic context justifies this exercise” whose idea was born in 2020, well before the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, underlined Tuesday November 15 the general Yves Metayer, commander of the employment division of the forces at the General Staff, during a conference presenting the “Orion” exercise. “In 2017, the strategic review (French) described the arrival of the prospect of a major conflict and the need to prepare for it. We must adapt our operational preparation and our doctrine of employment” after more than two decades of asymmetric warfare against the jihadists, he commented. “We must prepare for the worst to prevent it from happening or to be able to mitigate the consequences”, also said General Métayer, reports The world.

Some 7,000 soldiers engaged in the south of France

This large-scale exercise will consist of three phases. Between the end of February and the beginning of May, 7,000 soldiers will be engaged in the south of France in a sequence which will include naval operations in the Mediterranean, an amphibious operation in Sète (Hérault) then an airborne phase in Castres (Tarn). It will be a question of simulating an intervention in a fictitious country, destabilized by militias, called “Arnland”, bordering a powerful State orchestrating these disorders, and endowed with nuclear weapons, called “Mercury”.

Then, from mid-April to early May, the armies will simulate a high-intensity air-land confrontation against this neighboring state, with the deployment of 10 to 12,000 soldiers in Champagne, in a front area fifty kilometers long and 200 kilometers wide. depth.

Between the two major sequences, a civil-military phase will be organized under the aegis of the General Secretariat for Defense and National Security (SGDSN), which will focus on the various means of civilian support to the armies in the event of a major engagement ( health, transport, etc.), reserves and the informational struggle, in accordance with the will now displayed by the armed forces to make the “informational struggle” and “influence” a field of combat in its own right. “After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the mechanisms that existed during the Cold War were allowed to wither away in the event of mobilization,” argues General Yves Metayer. As noted The worldan exercise on the scale of “Orion” should now be conducted every three years, according to the staff of the armies.


The “Orion” exercise no comment regarding what we know about the Ukro/Russian conflict. A good training that will be absolutely useless, at most a delay of a few weeks, but above all to make the people believe in a defense.





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