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French-hosted multinational exercise strengthens NATO collective defence

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

The multinational joint exercise ORION has started with 12,000 participants conducting air-land integrated training across the French territory based on a NATO collective defence scenario. Powerful, modern, well-trained, interoperable and certified armed forces enable Allied nations to meet the requirements of a strong and meaningful collective deterrence.

From April 19 to May 5, more than 12,000 French exercise participants will be joined by 1,700 international colleagues from Belgium, Germany Greece, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States to train together during simulated large-scale multi-domain operations aimed at improving joint capabilities and interoperability with Allies and partners for a high intensity engagement.

 

The multinational joint exercise ORION has started with 12,000 participants conducting air-land integrated training across the French territory based on a NATO collective defence scenario. Powerful, modern, well-trained, interoperable and certified armed forces enable Allied nations to meet the requirements of a strong and meaningful collective deterrence.
Photo: French Joint Staff.

 

With the increasing complexity of the multi-domain environment and the unpredictability of warfare, it is imperative to prepare armed forces for these challenges and to strengthen joint interoperability. The fourth phase of ORION 23 enables allied nations to achieve the requirements of a strong collective defence. By developing a fictitious but credible scenario in all domains, including cyber, space, and electromagnetic, this last part of ORION called “large-scale operation” aims to improve joint capabilities and interoperability with partners in the event of a high intensity engagement.



“Powerful, modern, well-trained, interoperable and certified armed forces enable Allied nations to meet the requirements of a strong and meaningful collective deterrence and defence,” said Lieutenant General Emmanuel Gaulin, the commander of exercise ORION 23. “The intensity and the volume of forces involved in this final phase of ORION 23 are meeting the needs of multi domains training in light of the challenges we are facing, and we will face in the future,” Lieutenant General Gaulin added.

 

The multinational joint exercise ORION has started with 12,000 participants conducting air-land integrated training across the French territory based on a NATO collective defence scenario. Powerful, modern, well-trained, interoperable and certified armed forces enable Allied nations to meet the requirements of a strong and meaningful collective deterrence.
Photo: French Joint Staff.

 

Operational planning for ORION 23 started already in May 2022, from late February 2023 on an entry phase was simulated by a joint national reaction force with Cyber and Space support. Phase 3 in late March was reserved for French civil-military and inter-ministerial activities e.g. testing national defence and information warfare capabilities. Phase 4 is a complex endeavour combining a command post exercise with a live-exercise and a computer-assisted exercise, which will expose international participants to a complex three-week scenario. The aim is to enhance command capabilities by deploying a large-scale multinational air-land force integrating effects from all domains and prepare for multi-domain operations in case of a major conflict.



“ORION 23 improves French and allied units’ ability to operate together in modern conflicts, including high intensity and hybrid warfare” said Colonel Pierre Gaudilliere, spokesman of the French Joint Defence Staff. “Operating in a NATO environment is acting as a force multiplier, enabling full integration of Allies on all levels of command,” Colonel Gaudilliere added.




 

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