The French exercise 'HEMEX ORIÓN' simulates a major conflict between Armed Forces with similar capabilities. It will take place in several phases over the course of the year. The French Armed Forces and those of the main allied countries will get used to operating in a conflict that is being fought simultaneously in the land, sea, air, space and cyber fields. It is estimated that a total of more than 20.000 soldiers will take part in the exercise.
The maritime phase of the exercise was carried out from February 21 to March 3. Twenty-nine ships and submarines have taken part alongside numerous aircrafts and helicopters. Among them, the aircraft carrier groups of the 'Charles de Gaulle' and the Expeditionary Group 'Dedalo 23', articulated around the 'Juan Carlos I' stood out. In addition, the French Navy’s Amphibious Group participated with the ships 'Tonerre' and 'Dixmude', similar to the Spanish flagship.
The participation of the group “Dedalo 23” included the presence of the submarine “Tramontana” throughout the whole exercise. The “Juan Carlos I” and the “Blas de Lezo” were incorporated during the second half, once their participation in the NATO activity “Neptune Strike” in the Adriatic Sea ended.
The exercise has been carried out in harsh weather conditions, under the storm 'Juliette', which has left waves of more than eight meters and winds of more than 100 km/h for several days.
After the exercise, the Expeditionary Group 'Dedalo 23', together with the 2nd Landing Battalion, is immersed in the preparation of a new multinational amphibious operation in the Central Mediterranean, which will take place in the near future.