French-Belgian military exercise to take place in southern Belgium

French-Belgian military exercise to take place in southern Belgium
Credit: Belga

Nearly a thousand Belgian and French soldiers will participate in a joint military exercise, codenamed ‘Celtic Uprise’, in southern Belgium from November 21 to December 2 this year.

Celtic Uprise is part of the CaMo (‘Motorised Capacity’) programme, a €1.6 billion Franco-Belgian strategic partnership agreed in 2018. This year’s exercises will constitute the third in the Celtic Uprise series, and will be the first since 2019 to involve both French and Belgian troops.

The exercises were cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic while public health restrictions led to the French pulling out in 2021.

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The 2022 exercises will be conducted in the provinces of Hainaut (near Beaumont, Sivry-Rance, Froichapelle, Chimay and Momignies) and Namur (near Dinant, Hastière, Onhaye, Florennes, Philippeville, Doische, Viroinval, Walcourt, Cerfontaine, and Couvin).

Celtic Uprise's official military purpose is to further strengthen Franco-Belgian military cooperation, with the ultimate aim of rendering both countries’ ground combat units fully interoperable. The binational exercises are also intended to serve the wider political goal of demonstrating European solidarity and resolve in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Much like earlier editions of the exercises, Celtic Uprise will take place in full accordance with NATO military regulations and procedures, and will be conducted entirely in English.

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