The French Ministry of Defence published a retrospective of the activities of the Air and Space Force during 2023, with particular focus on international deployment and efforts to restructure operational control under the Commandement de la Défense Aérienne et des Opérations Aériennes, Air Defense and Air Operations Command (CDAOA) through the Altaïr plan.

Through 2023, the French Air and Space Force was involved in overseas operations in several countries. It conducted operations in Syria, as part of international efforts to combat terrorism and stabilise the region. Operations were also carried out in Iraq, with French military involvement in the region to address security challenges and support local partners. 

The French Air and Space Force also played a significant role in the Sahel region, particularly in Mali, where they worked alongside local partners to prevent the country’s collapse, contribute to the reconstruction of the Malian armed forces, and support development and stabilisation efforts in the region. It also participated in the evacuation of nationals from Sudan and Niger, showcasing its ability to respond promptly and effectively in complex environments

Given the diverse range of missions for Air and Space Force, managing the operational demands effectively while maintaining readiness provided a challenge. To support these efforts, the CDAOA underwent significant changes in 2023 as part of the Altaïr plan, announced in March 2022 by the Chief of Staff of the Air and Space Force.

The Altaïr plan aimed to transform the Air and Space Force, with a focus on enhancing operational readiness and coordination. One key aspect of this transformation was the reconfiguration of the CDAOA to become a central actor in preparing conventional operations for the entire Air and Space Force. 

This included the integration of a new brigade, the Air Brigade for Air and Space Control, Brigade Aérienne du Contrôle de l’Espace Aérien (BACEA), which is responsible for controlling airspace and supporting aeronautical information services. BACEA is composed of 57 units and approximately 3,000 specialists organised across mainland France, overseas territories, and abroad. Its main tasks include providing airspace control capabilities for air missions and monitoring national airspace to ensure the freedom of aerial action. 

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The BACEA unit is also involved in various activities related to air traffic control, meteorology, wildlife hazard prevention, and radio navigation means calibration, which sit as part the expanded role for CDAOA in 2023, in addition to the expertise and advisory services it provides in relation to information systems and communication for the military branches, directorates, and services.