Regions in France where the Orion 2023 exercises are taking place. Exercises are held in France’s south east (phase 2) and north eastern and western regions (phase 4) with more theoretical sessions held in Paris and Lyon. © French Ministry of Defence  

RFI: France holds largest-ever military drills amid bloody backdrop of Ukraine war 

France is staging its biggest military exercises to date – an operation involving 12,000 troops including NATO allies. 

The first leg of the Orion 2023 war games started on 23 February and will last until 11 March. The drills come one year after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine. 

“The geopolitical context justifies this exercise,” says Yves Metayer, commander of the troop deployment division at the French chiefs of staff. 

He adds that the plan has been in the works since 2020 and builds on the French Ministry of Defence’s 2017 Strategic Review of Defence and National Security.  

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Update: ‘Orion’ military exercises: A fictitious war, but a real test for French troops (France 24)  

WNU Editor: For more details on this exercise go here …. Exercise ORION 23 In France.