Forces: October 31, 1999

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NEW FRENCH ORDER OF BATTLE: : France is steadily reorganizing its Army into an all-volunteer force. The concept is being phased in over several years by a unique system. Personnel costs are kept at a constant level while manpower totals steadily fall as more expensive volunteers replace larger numbers of cheaper draftees. Current plans call for the three Corps and all of the divisions to be disbanded. The resulting Army will consist of nine brigades. 
Two armored brigades will each have two tank battalions, two mechanized battalions, an engineer battalion, and an artillery battalion.
Two mechanized brigades will each have one tank battalion, two mechanized battalions, an engineer battalion, and an artillery battalion.
Two light armored brigades will each have two armored car battalions, two mechanized battalions, an engineer battalion, and an artillery battalion.
Two light infantry brigades will each have one armored car battalion, four infantry battalions, an engineer battalion and an artillery battalion.
One helicopter brigade will have one battalion of Tiger combat helicopters and three battalions of tactical lift helicopters.
While the change from divisions to brigades would seem to be a reduction in combat power, French divisions are in fact about half the size of US or German divisions and not that much bigger than the heaviest of the new brigades.--Stephen V Cole

 


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