French troops are undergoing rigorous training for a potential high-intensity conflict against a formidable adversary capable of matching their firepower, reports Politico.

The combat training center (CENTAC) in Eastern France has become a crucial hub for preparing soldiers for modern warfare, marking a significant shift from decades of counterinsurgency operations in regions like Mali and Afghanistan. Colonel Axel Denis, head of CENTAC, emphasized the importance of readiness in the face of an unstable and dangerous world, particularly in light of recent military actions in Ukraine that have reignited the specter of full-scale war in Europe.

While not explicitly naming Russia as a potential adversary, training scenarios at CENTAC are tailored to simulate combat against an enemy with comparable capabilities, Politico noted. The training conditions are designed to replicate the chaos and intensity of actual battlefields, with soldiers exposed to simulated artillery fire, minefields, and disrupted communication links.

Spread across 120 square kilometers, the CENTAC camp serves as a vital platform for integrating various branches of the French army, including infantry, armor, artillery, and engineer troops. This cohesion is essential for executing combined arms warfare effectively, a lesson underscored by recent conflicts such as the war in Ukraine.

General Pierre Schill, head of the French army, highlighted the strategic shift towards bolstering Europe’s eastern flank, emphasizing the importance of collective defense commitments within NATO. The French army aims to enhance its rapid deployment capability, with plans to deploy a division of around 25,000 soldiers within 30 days.

Informed by lessons learned from Ukraine, military experts stress the significance of combined combat operations and the seamless integration of infantry, armor, artillery, and advanced technologies such as unmanned aircraft. Failure to adopt such tactics could result in catastrophic consequences, as witnessed in previous conflicts.

While Russia’s armed forces have faced criticism for their reliance on manpower-intensive tactics, the conflict in Ukraine has revealed the limitations of both sides in effectively implementing combined arms warfare. As tensions persist, French troops remain vigilant and prepared to confront evolving threats on Europe’s doorstep.