Operations and Deployments

Barkhane’s vast clean-up operation

It was a tough weekend for the soldiers of France’s Barkhane force who were engaged in a vast operation, baptised Bayard, which “led to the neutralisation of 20 or so terrorists in the forest of Foulsaré near the border between Mali and Burkina Faso, Southwest of Gao,” according to a French Defence Ministry statement on April 30. […]

When low tech works best

Many of the articles written on this blog (and by all our fellow defence specialists) extol the virtues of new technology: the latest vehicle, robot, radar, and even gee-gaw we didn’t even know we needed. But sometimes, when it gets down to real operations in difficult conditions, then smoothed out sand, sticks, stones and bits of ribbon do […]

Operation Chammal overview

Operation Chammal, as the French armed forces name their mission in the Levant, was launched on 19 September 2014 to support U.S. airstrikes against Daesh and other insurgents which had won control of Iraq’s second most populated city, Mosul in June. Originally limited to providing air support in coordination with its allies to Iraqi troops […]

How many French soldiers are deployed?

At the beginning of 2016 there are more or less 34,000 French military personnel deployed on operations or missions. Of these 13,000 are deployed within France: 10,000 on the Sentinelle anti-terrorist mission, 1,500 ensuring a permanent maritime safety posture and 1,000 a permanent air safety posture. However, as Colonel Gilles Jaron, spokesman for the French […]

French Air Force running low on bomb supplies

by Nathan Gain   Since the 13th November terrorist attacks in Paris and the northern Parisian suburb of Saint-Denis, France has intensified its bombing campaign on sites in Syria held by the Daesh terrorist group. By increasing the number of aircraft engaged from 12 to 38, France is now undertaking almost 20% of the Coalition’s […]

A guide to UN peacekeeping missions

Did you know that of the 16 United Nations (UN) current peacekeeping operations, three have been underway for over 50 years? Indeed, two of these have been going for over 65 years! If, like us, you sometimes get confused by all the acronyms by which these operations are known, we thought we’d give you a […]

Training for deployment in France – part 2

Yesterday we published the first part of our report on General Arnaud Sainte-Claire Deville’s audition by the French Parliamentary Defence Committee in which he described how the French Army is trained. Here is part 2: The General stressed that “the tragic events of [13th November] have strengthened my conviction that our land forces must more […]

Training for deployment in France

Today, in France, we are confronted by an asymmetrical conflict with no front-line. The terrorist threat is multi-directional, elastic and in constant evolution. However, we can make a distinction, in the framework of our engagements, between advanced defence – at a great distance – on an external theatre, and rear defence – very close – […]