Home > Exercise News > Exercise ORION 23 Concludes In France

Exercise ORION 23 Concludes In France

UK soldiers planning operations ahead of a simulated urban assault during ORION 23 [© NATO Multimedia]

France wraps up its biggest exercise in decades alongside NATO Allies as the fourth phase of ORION 23 concludes in the north of the country.

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France has just concluded its biggest military exercise in decades. The fourth phase of Exercise ORION 23 involved 12,000 personnel and assets from several NATO Allies, including Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The exercise, conducted over several months, concluded its fourth and last phase on 5 May 2023. The drills focused on improving NATO forces’ readiness through joint training on land and in the skies. Troops from Allied countries exercised different scenarios, including simulated urban combat, operational planning, logistical support, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) defence capabilities, medical evacuation and air mobility.

ORION 23 Phase 4 [© NATO Multimedia]

This NATO Multimedia footage, shot primarily in the CENZUB training complex in late April and recently released, includes various shots of UK soldiers planning operations ahead of a simulated urban assault, as well as various shots of Belgian, French and Spanish troops participating in joint drills, including a simulated decontamination from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) agents. Footage also includes soundbites from Belgian, French and UK officers.

Shot list:-

  • 00:00 UK soldiers preparing tactics ahead of an urban assault during Exercise ORION
  • 00:13 Belgian Army base camp during Exercise ORION
  • 00:24 Belgian soldiers maintaining their vehicles
  • 00:40 French GRIFFON multirole armoured vehicle
  • 00:44 Belgian and French soldiers exchanging tactics on French GRIFFON multirole armoured vehicle
  • 00:55 French soldiers maintaining a tank
  • 01:14 French soldiers change tires on a vehicle
  • 01:37 French soldiers maintaining a tank
  • 01:56 French soldiers checking communications equipment
  • 02:00 French soldier maintaining a rifle
  • 02:06 French GRIFFON multirole armoured vehicle
  • 02:14 French infantry and tanks participating in urban combat scenario during Exercise ORION
  • 03:31 French soldiers observe the battlefield from the roof of a building during Exercise ORION
  • 04:26 French soldiers in urban combat scenario during Exercise ORION
  • 04:52 French soldiers and armoured vehicles in urban combat exercise
  • 05:10 French soldiers peering the ground from a roof with rifle during urban combat training
  • 05:15 French soldiers prepare for urban combat on armoured vehicles during Exercise ORION
  • 05:23 French soldiers and armoured vehicle in a urban combat exercise
  • 05:49 French soldiers move around the armoured vehicle during urban combat exercise
  • 05:56 French soldiers train on medical evacuation scenario during Exercise ORION
  • 06:18 French soldiers train first aid techniques during urban combat exercise
  • 06:28 French soldiers train on medical evacuation scenario during Exercise ORION
  • 06:40 French soldiers being evacuated in medical evacuation scenario during Exercise ORION
  • 07:14 Spanish Army base camp and Spanish helicopters in Exercise ORION
  • 07:19 Spanish soldiers maintaining Spanish helicopters in Exercise ORION
  • 07:35 Spanish soldiers conducting training with helicopters
  • 07:52 French Gazelle helicopters conduct a training exercise
  • 08:13 French NH90 helicopter on airfield
  • 08:21 French CBRN soldiers conduct a simulated decontamination on armoured vehicles
  • 08:54 French CBRN soldiers stand guard at a decontamination facility during Exercise ORION
  • 08:57 French soldiers being decontaminated from a simulated CBRN hazard at a decontamination facility during Exercise ORION
  • 09:17 Soundbite (French) – General Pierre Fauch – Commander of the Divisional Support Group in Exercise ORION, French Armed Forces: “What is very important with Exercise ORION, Phase 4, is the fact that we are deploying units in their full capacity on the ground, in particular an armoured brigade, we are also working with our allies on cooperative support in fuel, water and supplies and we train together on the ground facing a major threat.”
  • 09:39 Soundbite (French) – Lt Col Nicolas, Chief of G7, 3rd Armoured Division, French Armed Forces: “With regard to Exercise ORION, for us it’s a unique opportunity for joint army training with allies.”
  • 09:51 Soundbite (French) – Lt Col Nicolas: “Here we are preparing for a simulated high-intensity, air-land combat against an enemy which has the same capacity and could outperform us in certain areas.”
  • 10:02 Soundbite (French) – Captain Eloi – Company Commander, 2nd Dragoon Regiment (CBRN Defence Regiment), French Armed Forces: “Exercise ORION is an excellent opportunity for the Second Dragoon Regiment to deepen its CBRN cooperation capabilities. The CBRN domain in France is open to multinational cooperation. And the Second Dragoon Regiment participates very regularly in the NRF, NATO Response Force, and is an essential component in terms of this participation in NATO’s CBRN response capability.”
  • 10:42 Soundbite (French) – Captain Pierre – Commander of Belgian Multinational Unit in Exercise ORION, Belgian Armed Forces: “It is important for Belgium to participate in this exercise because it allows us to develop our interoperability as part of the binational partnership CaMo (Motorised Capabilities), we work here in synergy with French logistics units within their multinational divisional support group.
  • 10:58 Soundbite – Major Matthew Paterson – Chief of Staff, 12th Armoured Brigade Combat Team, British Army: “There’s the wider benefit of the interoperability. A British brigade being inside a French division and just proving that it works. And the answer is it does work, and it works because we’re all using the same NATO standard operating procedures.”

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