The Combined UK and French Joint Expeditionary Force has moved from concept to reality with more than 5,000 personnel from the two countries coming together for Exercise Griffin Strike.
The Combined Joint Expeditionary Force is envisaged as a deployable, combined Franco-British military force for use in a wide range of crisis scenarios, up to and including high intensity combat operations. As a joint force it involves all three armed services: a land component composed of formations at national brigade level, maritime and air components with their associated headquarters, together with logistics and support functions.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
“This joint force will combine the might of two of the world’s biggest militaries, backed by our rising defence budget. It will enable us to deploy rapidly with our French allies, helping to keep Britain safe while contributing to security in the world.”
French Defence Secretary Jean-Yves Le Drian said:
“France and the UK share common security interests. In order to face high level domestic and international threats it is now more than important to continue to strengthen our operational cooperation between our two countries.”
The CJEF is planned to be able to deploy maritime, land, and air components with the CJFHQ commanding these either directly or via individual component commanders.
- A maritime component of up to a naval task group based on one or more capital ships, with the maritime forces required to conduct a particular CJEF operation being primarily depend on the circumstances. The component may include any combination of UK and French maritime assets gathered in a task group, and commanded from a UK/French combined headquarters that could be led by either nation.
- A scalable land component of at least a UK battle-group and a French battle-group. It is to be capable of conducting non-enduring, complex intervention operations, facing multiple threats up to high intensity. It is planned as a high-readiness force using existing national high readiness force elements – including lead elements at very short notice.
- An air component comprising an expeditionary air wing that is self-sufficient and capable of being generated within 10 days of activation. This will include all air assets across the full spectrum of air power roles. It is envisaged that the air component will be able to deliver the full spectrum of air effects.
- A logistics component with which the UK and France envisage collaborating to share the logistics support of the CJEF. Cooperative logistic planning is foreseen as commencing at the earliest opportunity and logistic operations will typically be commanded by a Combined Logistics Support Group headquarters, subordinate to the CJTF headquarters.