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France to Reduce Military Presence in Africa, Deploy More Forces in Pacific

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France plans to reduce its military footprint in Africa and deploy more security forces in the Indo-Pacific region, according to Gen. Stéphane Mille, the chief of staff of the French Air and Space Force.

At a news briefing on Monday, the general said France will pull back military forces from Africa in the future.

He clarified, however, that the country will still support counter-terrorism missions in the region, Defense One reported.

The European power will work with African governments to discuss each country’s security requirements. Informed by the talks, France will send forces for various contingencies and events, Mille said.

He added that French troops would provide allies with training support, noting that such deployments would require air force capability.

To support its future military direction, France is acquiring three additional Airbus A330s as indicated by its recently approved defense budget allocations, according to Defense One.

Millie said the transport aircraft will support France’s emerging military strategy in the Pacific.

Currently, the French military maintains air bases in French Polynesia and New Caledonia and participates in joint training exercises with the United States and other partners in the region.

According to Millie, the country recently sent several military planes for mission operations in the Pacific, adding that the maneuvers showed that the armed forces were covering more areas in the region.

“We will be more present in the future,” he stressed.

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