Flanders 2011 - Franco-British military exercises
A British-French exercise of major significance for our land forces, the FLANDRES 2011 exercises, will be staged from the 22nd to 29th June 2011 at the Command Post Training Centre (CEPC) in Mailly-le-Camp.
Designed to take stock of the levels of interoperability between our armies, this is the first major event for the build-up of the British-French Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF). As described in the 2nd November 2010 Treaty, FLANDRES 2011 will make it possible to identify where efforts can be made to enhance our ability to fight together.
The primary objective of FLANDRES 2011 is to take stock of the levels of interoperability between our two Armies. Different areas of operations will be put to the test.
- Developing multinational CP procedures in a digitised environment:
- Operational Staff Procedures Aide-Memoire (OSPAM).
- Mastering multinational operations over a wide spectrum, including:
- offensive and defensive operations;
- securing operations;
- reconstruction operations.
- Mastering the air-land integration and co-ordination:
- Co-ordination of fires and sensors in the battlespace.
- Organising the merging and processing of intelligence:
- protection against IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices);
- high-added-value targets.
- Enhancing logistic interoperability.
The total strength participating in the exercise (Battlelab included) is 1,500 military and civilians, including 450 British personnel. The distribution stands as follows: 1/4 organisation - HICON - 1/4 players - 1/4 CIS support (CIS for Communication and Information System) and real life support - 1/4 LOCON.
The theme of Exercise FLANDRES involves Force Headquarters nbr 3 (EMF 3) as French division and the 3rd French Mechanised brigade (3e BM) as main player alongside the British troops from the 7th Armoured brigade (7th Armd Bde), supported by a Bi-National Support Group (BNSG). Their respective experiences will make it possible to put all the know-how in common. This large-scale exercise has required significant preparation since 2008.
The EMF 3
As the CP of the British-French Division, it will be in command of the operation. Its main role will however be focused on interoperability. It is at this level of its headquarters that the British and French Command and Information Systems (CIS) will be connected in order to give a common digitised vision of the battle.
The manoeuvre brigades
The theme of Exercise FLANDRES involves Force Headquarters nbr 3 (EMF 3) as the French division and the 3rd (Fr) Mechanised Brigade (3e BM) and 7th (UK) Armoured Brigade (7th Armd Bde) as the main players, supported by a Bi-National Support Group (BNSG). Their respective experiences will make it possible to share a common understanding of operations. This large-scale exercise has required significant preparation since 2008.
The mission given to the headquarters of the 1st (FR) Logistic Brigade (1ère BL) and of the 102 (UK) Logistic Brigade (102nd Log Bde) is especially innovative. Both brigades are tasked with the setting up of a bi-national logistic command post, the Bi-National Support Group. This British-French CP supports the division in a digitised framework
The Command Post Training Centre (CEPC) provides its expertise in the field of simulation through the implementation of the SCIPIO simulator (SCIPIO stands for combined arms simulator for the interactive preparation of operations). It will also support the cells in charge of the tactical control.
France and the United Kingdom are long-time Defence partners. The British-French summit held on 2nd November 2010 gave a new impetus to this co-operation and has encourages British and French Defence Staffs to deepen and diversify ties, especially in the terms of operation and capability.
The two Armies have therefore decided :
- to strengthen the existing standing cooperation structure;
- to study the implementation of a partnership between British and French brigades;
- to consider bringing the ARRC and the CRR-FR closer to each other (from summer 2011 there will be an increase in the French presence within the ARRC);
- to create a British-French Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF), whose employment concept will be published before the summer 2011.
Exercise FLANDRES 2011 is part and parcel of the CJEF preparation process. As early as 2008, the Armies started intensifying their co-operation in a pragmatic way, taking financial and operational constraints into account.
With the additional impetus given by the 2nd November 2010 Treaty, the goal is now to reach increased interoperability of the command structures, procedures, equipment and personnel.
The purpose of this is to prepare for deployment together in the most demanding and complex missions. This will be met through an exchange of experts, common work practices and training.
Exercise FLANDRES 2011 will provide an opportunity to implement innovative technical solutions and staff procedures that will enable one British and one French brigade to fight together under a single command.
SAFIR is a common programme of the DSTL (Defence Science and Technology Laboratory) and its French counterpart, the DGA (the French Procurement Agency). SAFIR enhances the distribution and realism of exercises and the integration of distant simulations.
Supporting the Army’s will to use its centres of excellence to train at the best possible level among the lead western Armies, SAFIR aims to further increase interoperability between the two countries.
In the field of operational training, the work linked to SAFIR enables progress to be made in the following domains:
- distribution of exercises (troops stay in their own infrastructure, the CISs [Communication and Information Systems] and simulations are connected to each other);
- enhancing the realism of exercises (flight of a digital UAV in the simulation and display of the images in full motion video);
- integration of distant simulations (a Tiger crew flying on its own simulator in FLANDRES’ virtual environment). The SAFIR platform used on FLANDRES 2011 is a “step forward” towards future bilateral interoperability, including Command and Control training, with the overall realistic goal being the set up of a British-French Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF).