More than 2,500 British troops to participate in new UK-French training programme


UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has announced that British troops are set to train with French forces in exercises extending from Eastern Europe to Kenya as part of a new military training programme.

More than 2,500 soldiers from the British Army will be sent to France over the next few months to conduct training operations relating to the prevention of instability and the spread of violent extremism.

The deployment will initiative will include more than 1,500 personnel from 16 Air Assault Brigade, who will take part in the Nato Swift Response exercise in Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania, alongside troops from France's 11eme Brigade Parachitiste.

Additionally, soldiers from France will join 1,000 personnel from the UK’s 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment to carry out Exercise Askari Storm in Kenya in November.

"The UK and France have a long enduring relationship, and that will continue as the UK leaves the European Union."

Fallon said: “The UK and France have a long enduring relationship, and that will continue as the UK leaves the European Union.

“We are deployed together in Nato, fighting against ISIS in Iraq and Syria and training together across the globe.”

The UK and France previously agreed to invest €100m in the development of future long-range weapons earlier this year.

Both countries are also working on the development of an unmanned combat air system.

In addition, France is expected to support the UK Carrier Strike Group after the British Royal Navy’s aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth reaches its operational capability in 2020.

The UK and France are also currently running a personnel exchange programme, with more than 40 personnel working in reciprocal roles across the three services.