Brunssum, The Netherlands – Lieutenant General Luis Lanchares, Deputy Commander Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum (DCOM JFCBS), visited Phase 2 of the French exercise ORION 23, which takes place from 21st February until 11th March 2023 in the south of France.
ORION 23 is the first exercise of its kind in more than 30 years, divided into four phases, each with a specific focus. After an initial planning phase, Phase 2 introduces the mobilisation of approximately 7,000 soldiers from across all domains (Army, Navy, Air Force, Special Forces, Cyber, Space) from France and nearly a dozen partner nations. It is a Joint international training event in a high intensity context across several French regions and the Mediterranean Sea. The focus is on assessing the ability of the French Armed Forces to face strategic surprises, develop partnerships with NATO Allies, and to operate within a coalition.
The exercise demonstrates the determination and credibility of France to commit itself to the defence of its own territory, and to that of the whole NATO Alliance. DCOM JFC Brunssum visited the naval component of ORION 23, where ships from eight NATO nations (France, Germany, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, the UK and the U.S.) and numerous aircraft participated.
General Lanchares was deeply impressed by the capabilities and skills on display by the French and partner nations’ soldiers, sailors and aviators. The next phase of ORION 23 will focus on Civil-Military Affairs and Interdepartmental Crises Management, while Phase 4 will involve a large-scale air and land operation with some 12,000 troops under the leadership of a multi-national division.