France has launched its biggest military exercise mobilizing 12,000 troops, including those from NATO allies.
The Orion 23 months-long military exercises involving naval and land vehicles, aircraft and an aircraft carrier.
The drills are conducted over several months, starting in late February and ending in May 2023.
The second phase of Exercise Orion 23 involves 7,000 personnel and assets from France and several Allied countries, including Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, and focuses on defensive operations on land, in the air, at sea and in cyberspace.
The peak of the exercise is scheduled from late April to early May, in north-eastern France. During this phase, around 12,000 troops will be deployed on the ground and in the skies to repel a simulated high-intensity attack.
The joint exercises comes as the Ukraine war enters its second year, with Western nations drawing sobering lessons on military preparedness after decades of defence cuts since the end of the Cold War.
“The conflict in Ukraine has taught us about high-intensity warfare,” which is played out “on the entire spectrum of modern warfare”, explained General Nicolas Le Nen, commander of the joint exercises.