The Air and Space Force confirmed that it was part of an annual military exercise taking place in southwest and central France, which will last until October 15.
This exercise is called Volfa, a three-week period of high-intensity combat training that involves approximately 25 maneuvers performed at any time of the day and night and using 50 different aircraft.
The A400M, which was spotted over Thiviers and Savignac-les-Eglises on Tuesday, October 5, is a military transport aircraft that was used during evacuations from Kabul airport this summer.
There are currently two of these planes on the runway at Périgueux-Bassillac airport.
This year’s Volfa exercises revolve around a fictitious scenario, explained by the Air Force in a statement.
“After six months of tensions in Greyland [the southern half of France] and under United Nations resolution 1805, France is preparing to launch Operation Volfa.
“The objective: to protect the civilian populations against the armed forces of Marko Ramius [the protagonist of spy thriller The Hunt for Red October], president of Redland [a territory of northern Spain that is encroaching on the south east of France].
“The United Nations Security Council ordered Redland to evacuate his forces [from the area] effective immediately, and will be supported by a joint task force in Greyland.
“The Air Force, with its 850 qualified pilots, is launching its mission, joined by its German, Canadian, Belgian, British, Danish and Spanish allies.
“The idea is to train for high-intensity conflicts of the future,” a spokesperson for the Volfa program told actu.fr. “We imagine an opponent almost as well equipped as us and we prepare for the fight. “
This year’s Volfa exercises focused on the Landes department around the Mont-de-Marsan air base. However, the majority of combat training took place above the Massif Central, where the Air Force has an air zone reserved for this purpose.
Residents of areas between the two training areas may therefore have noticed airplanes and helicopters flying overhead.
You can watch an Air Force report explaining the story that will unfold during the Volfa mission here.
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