This major milestone comes as the two countries commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Lancaster House treaty.

Ten years ago, the UK and France signed treaties at Lancaster House on defence and security, and on nuclear cooperation.

“This historic commitment has helped establish a long-term partnership and provides a framework for a joint response when mutual interests are at stake. One of the key goals of the treaties was to establish the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF) combining two of the world’s strongest militaries to tackle shared threats.

The force has reached full operating capacity and can now rapidly deploy over 10,000 personnel in response to a crisis to fulfil a range of tasks including high intensity operations, peacekeeping, disaster relief or humanitarian assistance. As part of CJEF training, this week British and French paratroopers will come together for Exercise Wessex Storm on Salisbury Plain.

This sees soldiers from the French 2e Regiment Etranger de Parachutistes (2e REP) attached to the 2 PARA Battlegroup. Both units regularly train together to maintain their partnership so they are ready to deploy alongside each other.”

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:

“Today, the UK and France face a range of security threats of increasing scale and complexity. Having a highly capable, high readiness force is essential if we are to protect both UK security and the security of our NATO allies. It is testament to our close defence relationship that we have achieved all the milestones set out in the Lancaster House treaties 10 years ago, working together to protect our mutual interests.”

The UK and France are deployed around the world together in places such as the Middle East to combat Daesh and Estonia as part of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence, you can read more from the Ministry of Defence on this here.

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Steve
Steve
11 months ago

Nice idea in theory, but in practice I can’t see it ever being deployed. British and French foreign policies rarely seen to be aligned, mainly because the UK is focused on being part of the US and France wants to be independent.

TrevorH
TrevorH
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Currently we support France in Mali.

BB85
BB85
11 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

I think Libyia was a bit of a wake up call to France and the UK at how poorly equipped they where to sustain any kind of campaign without US involvement even when it is on their back door.

Last edited 11 months ago by BB85
Steve
Steve
11 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Massively difference between what we are doing there under UN mandate and supporting France in a ground conflict.

Libya was the same, neither country had any desire to get involved on the ground.

TrevorH
TrevorH
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve

To BB85 and yourself…. my point is we are clearly aligned with France in Mali. Not surprisingly as we are are both in NATO.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve

We are deploying 250 troops to Mali, France has 5,000 in the country already.

Dern
Dern
11 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Desert Storm 1991, Afghanistan 2001-2015, Mali 2014-, Kosovo 1999, Lybia 2011, Syria 2011-…. I don’t know we seem to align fairly often….

dave12
dave12
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Rubbish the RN and Royal marines have close ties with the Dutch navy and they are a member of the EU.

Bob2
Bob2
11 months ago
Reply to  dave12

In future, this will also mean the RM will have close ties with the newly formed German marines (Seebataillon) as these will fall under command of the Dutch marines.

Callum
Callum
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve

The hilarity of that last statement. The UK just left the EU for the express purpose of maintaining its sovereignty, while France is focused on making the EU ever bigger.

Steve
Steve
11 months ago
Reply to  Callum

EU is a trading block and has nothing to do with military alliances. From a military and political perspective we are fully aligned with the US and entered wars we really shouldn’t have because of that.

Leaving EU and sovereignty is a joke. We voted positively (this is a matter of public record) on every law that passed in the EU and had veto for anything that we didn’t like. Large parts of our economy is based on cheap eastern european labour. We had full control over our sovereignty.

Callum
Callum
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve

The EU is developing its own defence infrastructure, and numerous nations – including France – have been pushing for greater unification of European forces. To say the EU is just a trading bloc is understating it in the extreme.

We quite demonstrably did not have full control over our sovereignty within the EU, otherwise we wouldn’t have had to leave in order to make the changes we wanted.

Regardless of where we both stand on Brexit, the point still stands: the UK chose independence, France wants integration.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
11 months ago
Reply to  Callum

It was the UK which pushed for the European External Action Service (Common foreign policy and EU Diplomatic Corp) and the joint military procurement programs like PESCO, though we pushed against the ,multi-national military formations and the HQ (European Union Military Staff) for duplicating NATO.
https://euobserver.com/institutional/29575

Tim
Tim
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve

The e.u is just a trading block ha ha really ?

John Clark
John Clark
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Well Steve, that EU national veto is being curtailed in some areas and it will only be a matter of time before they move to majority voting. It’s inevitable, the EU has grown too big and without majority voting, they simply won’t get anything agreed. The main driver is for ever closer integration, if that’s what they want, good for them…. Thank god we decoupled from that impending super state nightmare just in time. One thing’s for sure, it won’t be allowed again and you can bet your bottom dollar, article 50 will be put beyond reach for anyone else… Read more »

peter wait
peter wait
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Did we have powers to keep ex-criminals out from freedom of movement, are you saying Blair could have vetoed this ? Perhaps his wife’s legal firms would not have done so well ?

Andy P
Andy P
11 months ago

I’m sure there will be guys on here who know so I’ll ask the question…. Is this a ‘standing’ force ready to deploy at short notice and/or is it made up of other units, some ‘standing’ while others would be at longer notice.

As has been said, I can’t see an anglo French force deploying on their own, its a good idea for interoperability etc but can’t see anything short of a Desert Storm where it would be used. I’ve been wrong plenty times before of course….

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

It’s been quiet and had very little mention for some time, but years back ( 96 or so ) the UK formed something called the JRDF, Joint Rapid Deployment Force, which was changed in time to the JRRF, Joint Rapid Reaction Force. I think I read it’s names changed again very recently, but at the moment don’t recall what. At its heart were 3 Cdo Bde and 16AA Bde, each which contributed a Commando Group and Para Bn Group at high readiness. CS and CSS Elements of both augmented these, along with outfits like 30 Signals Reg, our “out of… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago

I’ve just looked on wiki out of curiosity, and there is actually a pretty good article by wiki standards expanding more on my brief outline. There’s also a piece on it on TD Think Defence.

Bob2
Bob2
11 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

In reality, are the French and U.K. governments saying that their arm forces have spent the last 10 years regularly training together ensuring that they can effectively deploy together. However, each nation can only support a rapidly deployed force of 5000, so the maximum joint force would be 10,000 strong.

Similarly, if we choose to train with another countries forces eg Canada, we could contribute 5000 troops to a joint rapid force with them also, but not at the same time we were deploying with France.

Dern
Dern
11 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Depends on who is using it, but “standing” usually means a force that is a professional full time force, what in Britain is called the Regular Army. Within a “standing” force there are high readyness forces, and this is usually passed around a standing force because individuals get burned out being on high readyness. So in this instance the high readyness role will be being passed back and forth between 2 and 3 Para. When two para is on high readyness three para is recovering, and then switch. We did the same thing in 3 UK div but on a… Read more »

Bob2
Bob2
11 months ago
Reply to  Dern

Hi Dern,

My post was rather rushed and could have been written with greater clarity.

I did not mean to imply that the uk could only deploy a force of 5000. I just wanted some clarification on what the MOD statement was really saying when it referred to a combined force of up to 10,000.

As both countries can probably deploy 10k troops each, why would a combined force be restricted to 10k max.

Andy P
Andy P
11 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Cheers for the replies guys, appreciate you taking the time.

Mark B
Mark B
11 months ago

Is it not in the interests of both countries to increase the resources which can be deployed quickly and perhaps independently of other NATO members. Sounds like a good idea to me. Perhaps we should look to build upon this.

pkcasimir
pkcasimir
11 months ago

The UK and France may have identified 10,000 troops able to be deployed but where are the logistics, sea power, and air power to deploy them rapidly and sustain them for longer than 30 days without US support? They certainly can’t be sent to the Pacific. If we are talking Europe than NATO is involved. The French can’t even support the troops they have fighting terrorists in Africa.

dave12
dave12
11 months ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

I dont think its a problem for UK as the RAF is well equipped for it ,considering
then french have to use RAF Chinooks in Mali it seems they are lesser equipped
for it ,not sure if the US help is needed , you still on that high horse again pkcasimir?:)

pkcasimir
pkcasimir
11 months ago
Reply to  dave12

The UK cannot sustain 10,000 troops beyond thirty days even if they use horses left over from WW1. That’s the truth, no matter how one sits on his horse .Try dealing with reality no visions of long lost glory.

dave12
dave12
11 months ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

Rubbish pkcasmir you really have some hate there for the UK I dont
know why you bother coming on to this website ,your bitterness must be strong lol.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
11 months ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

We sustained 10:000 in Afghanistan for many years.

peter wait
peter wait
11 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Then the MOD complained that too much ammo and mortar rounds were being used, they even bought substandard Indian ammo which failed to cycle machine guns properly and blamed troops lol !

julian1
julian1
11 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

before defence cuts…yes

TrevorH
TrevorH
11 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Correct!

peter wait
peter wait
11 months ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

Sorry but they ate the horses !

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  peter wait

The army has more horses than tanks apparently. The Guardian said so.
I can believe it with HCMR.

julian1
julian1
11 months ago

Does the definition of a Tank only include MBT or does it include any armoured vehicle? If their definition is MBT then likely to be true, if not then it is nonsense.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  julian1

Morning Julian.

Oh I’m sure it is true. I believe they meant MBT, the army has over 400 horses. Armoured vehicles, couple of thousand probably more.

julian1
julian1
11 months ago

my nephew is training with HCR at coombemere currently, I’ll ask him

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  julian1

Yes, do. Kings Troop RHA are another big horse user.

Dern
Dern
11 months ago

Don’t forget DATR, in addition to the RHA and HMCR, they reatain horses currently under training, plus horses for training new riders not yet posted into units.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Dern

Silly me, of course. Melton Mowbrey. Must be hundreds there alone. and Dogs.

You lost me for a bit as they keep rebranding everything, was the DAC.

lee1
lee1
11 months ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

The UK and France are two of the very few countries to have Blue Water Navies. Together we could indeed deploy anywhere in the world and sustain that deployment. The UK needs to upgrade our armed forces to be truly dangerous (the carriers need surface to air missiles for self defence for instance) but it is in no doubt that the capability is there if needed. It is however highly unlikely that France and the UK would be deploying to the Pacific without support from other countries as it is likely that any pacific issues would be in the interests… Read more »

julian1
julian1
11 months ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

I think this is likely to be M Eastern/African deployment in which case either or even both of the countries have numerous and proven basing and supply line options. For APAC, yes you are right both countries would struggle beyond a short deployment. But I see no reason why either country would get involved in that, both countries are regional powers not world powers

Ian
Ian
11 months ago

On the news today we are deploying 2000 bodies in a Covid force …… what percentage is that of our forces ?

Jonny
Jonny
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian

2.5% of our regular army personnel

Dern
Dern
11 months ago
Reply to  Jonny

Ah but remember the covid force also has RAF, RN and Reserves in it….

lee1
lee1
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian

1%…

Bob2
Bob2
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian

That’s 2000 bodies to help the Liverpool council provide covid testing for everybody in the city.

This is a trial, and if successful it will be rolled out nationally. If that happens, this might be the first French/uk joint deployment as we probably do not have enough uk troops to help test the whole uk population.

lee1
lee1
11 months ago
Reply to  Bob2

It is a trial.. it is also unlikely that everyone in the UK will be tested at the same time so those same 2000 plus a few more will simply move around the country. Also we would have to have many times that many deployed to run out of manpower as we have around 198,000 in the armed forces (although obviously some of them are deployed around the world already so would not be available).

Bob2
Bob2
11 months ago
Reply to  lee1

Hi Lee, The plan is for uk to be able to test 2M people per day, which would enable everybody to be tested once a month. This testing will be managed by local councils so troops will need to be widely distributed if they are to assist. However, until we can test everybody, testing will need to be directed at areas with the most cases. Currently, 20%ish of England’s population are in the same tier as Liverpool, so to support similar testing in all these areas will need long term deployment of 25K bodies. I just hope the government can… Read more »

lee1
lee1
11 months ago
Reply to  Bob2

25,000 are not going to be deployed to testing… Even if they are then that is partly what they are employed to do. Protecting the country means to both overseas and at home and they are there to be at the disposal of what the Government require them for. That could be rebuilding a burst dam, helping the police with law and order or helping the NHS with testing for Covid…

Rob
Rob
11 months ago

It’s great we are working with the French but I do have a problem with this. Western nations have all sorts of ‘joint HQs’ – NATO, EU, bilateral, national. However the troops earmarked for each of these are the same people. This means once they are deployed through one HQs they can’t be through another. So the more chiefs than indians argument really does apply.

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
11 months ago

Can I ask where the UK troops are coming from. It was only a week or so ago that we were told that we couldn’t put a decent brigade together for another ten years.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

That article was referring to the future UK Division that was to be made up of 4 brigades, 2 AI, 2 Strike, as opposed to the current 3 AI. The army’s main war fighting division.

I fully expect the brigades will revert to just 3 as previously and 1 armoured will be rerolled. In fact, a Lt Gen has already indicated that we will move to a “square” brigade.

That implies 2 tank, 2 Warrior. At the moment they are triangular, 1 Tank, 2 Warrior.

These troops are drawn from other areas of the forces which I outlined earlier.

Dern
Dern
11 months ago

Has 3 Div actually converted to it’s triangular brigade Orbats yet? I haven’t heard of the 2nd Strike Brigade has been stood up yet, or if it’s just the Strike Experimentation Group. If that’s the case the 2 AI brigades probably are still consist of 5 Regiments/Battalions.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Dern

Evening Dern. Unsure. I always describe the planned end states as per the latest reviews, which as we know change before the previous has even taken full effect!

As far as I was aware the 3 AI still had their 2 warrior 1 Mastiff, 1 Tank. I’m not even sure if KRH has converted to Armd Cav yet.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago

Plus the CVRT Reg, sorry. 5 as you correctly state.

Airborne
Airborne
11 months ago

Yes we can deploy together, be it 1000 or 10000 strong. The key here is for how long and with what effects? For warfighting and long term operational tasks we have to be realistic and understand that we are lacking key enabling assests, logistics and supporting arms for any meaningful intervention. Yes we have amazing people, some top of the range kit and certain capabilites that few others possess in numbers or of a decent standard (RFA, SF, ISTAR, AAR, heavy lift rotary, heavy lift aircraft to name but a few) But as an organisation, we lack a coherant defence… Read more »

peter wait
peter wait
11 months ago

Can’t see the agreement working unless they get some fish after Brexit ?

Bob2
Bob2
11 months ago
Reply to  peter wait

By more luck than judgement the uk hold most of the cards when it comes to fishing in the north sea. When we joined the eec/eu fishing rights in the North Sea 12 miles from the coast were an unregulated free for all. The introduction of the EEZs in the 1980s changed this as the North Sea was split up between the countries that surround it. What allows us to have all the cards is the biology of the North Sea. Young fish hatch and spend the early life in the shallow waters in the south of the North Sea… Read more »

lee1
lee1
11 months ago
Reply to  Bob2

The issue may arise though with agreements we made prior to joining the EU. For instance Belgium have and agreement with the UK that they have access to our waters, The norther European states also have had historic agreements to fish our waters. That makes legal arguments a little tricky. For instance if we disregard our treaty with Belgium then that makes our treaty that gives us Gibraltar very shaky…

Bob2
Bob2
11 months ago
Reply to  lee1

You are right Lee.

The agreements we signed before joining the EU may only relate to the waters up to 12miles off shore as these were written prior to the formation of the EEZs.

The Belgium agreements may have been super rested by more recent Eu wide laws.

We will just have to see I guess.

OldSchool
OldSchool
11 months ago
Reply to  lee1

Agreement with Belgium? If you mean a Royal concession by Charles II – I’d expect either Parliament or the Crown could revoke it. As for Spain – if they repudiated the Gib Treaty I’d expect the UK would simply ignore it.

Frank62
Frank62
11 months ago
Reply to  OldSchool

Spain is never going to give up their Ceuta or Melilla enclaves in Morocco, so they’ve not a leg to stand on disputing Gibraltar.

However our fishing fleets & industry has been decimated through EU membership.

lee1
lee1
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

Lets not forget that fishing fleets were on the decline before we joined the EU and that during that time the northern European countries along with Belgium had full access to our waters anyway and had done for centuries… Also our fishing industry is negligible in relation to GDP. There are far more important industries to look after with regard to trade agreements.

And yes Spain do have a leg to stand on with regard to Gibraltar if we start to disregard treaties that we handed out.

lee1
lee1
11 months ago
Reply to  OldSchool

And that is not a good look for a country that likes to take pride in it law and order and its honesty on the international stage. If we expects treaties to be honoured in our favour then we should expect to hold our own treaties in similar regard.

OldSchool
OldSchool
11 months ago

If the UK has to rely on French support we really are in trouble. Usually its the reverse. Look at how much support France and Germany gave UK during the Stena affair ( which really occurred because the US wanted the EU to uphold its own sanctions – didn’t happen of course).

Ian
Ian
11 months ago

Hard to see a situation where such a relatively large Anglo-French force would be deployed outside of a broader NATO operation.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian

Agree. But you never know in war. That we have the capability and a militarily effective ally is a good thing.

TrevorH
TrevorH
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian

It says ‘up to 10,000’

julian1
julian1
11 months ago
Reply to  Ian

I can see it given a set of circumstances. Trump staying in power and not wishing to intervene in any kind of N Africa operation (let’s say Libya based Jihadi group starts sustained euro terrorism campaign.) Britain and France would be the natural leaders in intervention, backed up by other european/EU countries supporting them. This is the likely scenario which will weaken NATO – perhaps fatally and encourage the development of EU army/armed forces

TrevorH
TrevorH
11 months ago

Grow up

Geoff
Geoff
11 months ago

Under what command structure does this operate ? NATO, EU or joint-government ?

Stevo H
Stevo H
11 months ago

Funny how we can have a close military relationship with each other but are at each other’s throats on fishing grounds.