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French Navy preparing for the operations of the future


This Monday, November 30, the French Navy launched the ZEST 2020 multi-combat exercise in the Mediterranean, off Toulon. Joint and combined exercise, ZEST's objective is to train Navy units, whether surface, commando or air, in areas as varied as anti-surface, anti-aircraft, mine warfare or cyber defense.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 An exercise created in 2020, ZEST combines several exercises in order to create a realistic and more complex training environment, meeting the requirements of a combat navy (Picture source: French Navy)


Deployed in all the seas of the world, the units of the French Navy are called upon to face a wide and evolving spectrum of threats. In this context, ZEST consists of multi-struggle, complex, intense and realistic trainings, aimed at training forces to operate in all theaters where they are deployed, regardless of the threats that weigh there. Participants will thus be confronted with submarine, surface, air, cyber and mine threats, all in configurations as close as possible to reality. This type of exercise keeps crew training at the highest level, prepares units for high intensity combat and contributes to doctrinal thinking.

Interorganic, joint and combined, it contributes to interoperability and allows the exchange of practices and the sharing of know-how. ZEST will thus bring together Navy units (surface forces, naval aeronautics and marine commandos), but also the 3rd Marine Artillery Regiment (RAMa) of the Army, and Mirage 2000D and 2000C fighter jets from Nancy and Orange as well as airborne detection and control planes E3F Awacs of the Air and Space Force. Allied assets, the Spanish Navy and the Italian Air Force will also participate.

An exercise created in 2020, ZEST combines several exercises in order to create a realistic and more complex training environment, meeting the requirements of a combat navy.