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Jun 22 2022

France conducts short-notice airborne operation into Estonia

The French Armed Forces conducted Operation THUNDER LYNX, a force projection operation towards Estonia.


About a hundred paratroopers from the French 11th Airborne Brigade were deployed by an A-400M transport aircraft above the Estonian territory, to be dropped over a zone held by Estonian soldiers. This airdropping was followed by a joint tactical training maneuver between French and Estonian units.

Operation THUNDER LYNX highlights and illustrates the ability of the French Armed Forces to urgently deploy, at very short notice, in any time and any place, to support any NATO Allies in Europe.

France is attached to the fundamental principle of strategic solidarity, the bedrock of NATO's unity and cohesion. Part of the 12 founding member countries of NATO, France is a reliable, credible and supportive ally to the Alliance and European partners. This airborne operation participates in the strengthening of NATO's deterrence and defensive posture on its eastern flank, especially in the Baltic countries and in Romania.


Bound by a Defence Agreement since 2012, France and Estonia have a dense bilateral military relation. The engagement of French units in NATO missions in Estonia, within the Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) and Enhanced Air Policing (eAP), have strengthened interoperability between the French and Estonian forces. It enables French and Estonian soldiers to work together for the defense and the security of the Alliance.


French paratroopers boarded the Air and Space Force A400M in Crete and airdropped into a zone secured by Estonian Defence Forces' platoon to conduct combined drills on June 22, 2022. En route the French Mirage 2000-5 fighters from NATOA's enhanced Air Policing at Ämari intercepted and escorted the transport aircraft. Photos courtesy French Armed Forces.

Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office on information provided by the French Joint Staff

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