Operation Fer de Lance brings France and Brazil together in a combined exercise

French Guiana – The Northern Military Command (CMN), major operational command of the Land Force, through a platoon of the Amapá Border Command and the 34th Jungle Infantry Battalion (CFAP/34th BIS), subordinated to the 22nd Jungle Infantry Brigade (22nd Bda Inf Sl), represents Brazil in Operation Fer de Lance. The exercise combined with the French Army takes place from March 7 to 20, in French Guyana. The Brazilian soldiers are part of a company from the 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment (3rd REI).

Considered the largest exercise of the French Armed Force carried out in South America this year, the Fer de Lance counts with the participation of military personnel from Brazil, Suriname and Guyana, as well as members of the French Army, Navy and Air Force. The proposal is to allow an exchange of professional knowledge and to develop regional cooperation.

The joint, combined and interagency exercise involves staff work and the employment of troops on the ground. The tactical framework involves Offensive Operations on land, river and jungle environments, against regular and irregular forces. In addition, the military conducts operations on the border strip and coastal defense, including the evacuation of non-combatants.

The historical integration between the armies of Brazil and France strengthens Brazilian military diplomacy, and stimulates bilateral relations with friendly nations. The insertion of a Brazilian platoon with the 3rd REI, for example, is the result of an agreement signed in a Military Exchange Meeting between Brazil and France. In practice, the two armies act together in the most diverse operations during the year, with the objective of fighting trans-border and environmental illicit activities in the border strip.

“This interaction with the French troops, and especially with the troops of the 3rd REI, is a constant action, whether patrolling the rivers of Oiapoque, or on the occasion of operational visits and sporting competitions. This coexistence has been very beneficial for both armies,” as explained by the Commander of CFAP/34th BIS, based in Macapá, Lieutenant-Colonel George Alberto.

Military personnel preparation involves physical training

To participate in the Operation, the military personnel from CFAP/34th BIS went through a methodical preparation, including military instructions and even French classes, with the objective of increasing the troop’s professional efficiency. “In order for the platoon to be really prepared and trained, we carried out modules of instruction and exercises in the field. The preparatory phase of the exercise included leveling instructions, both in shooting and in patrolling,” detailed the Chief of Operations of the 34th BIS, Captain Silva Pinto.

In addition to these criteria, physical training, body spirit, and operational skills were also decisive factors in selecting and preparing the soldiers, according to Captain Leão, Commander of the 2nd Jungle Marine Company, the Battalion’s operational company. “In the process of selecting the platoon, we were very judicious, assuming that it had to be an existing platoon, already formed, and not just assembled for the mission. We selected a platoon with the best operational aspect and physical preparation,” he said.

The permanent state of readiness enables the troops to act in various military actions, such as attack and control of urban areas, river actions against piracy, and evacuation of non-combatants. The objective is to raise the operational level of the Brazilian military involved in the military exercise combined with the French Army.

Source: Northern Military Command

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