During its deployment in the Surobi District (Northeast from Kabul) from December 2011 to May 2012, the Battle Group Picardie gained the opportunity to be the first unit to use the new French infantry system FELIN (for Fantassin à Equipement et Liaison Intégrés). Nearly 800 soldiers from this BG (mainly from the 1st Infantry Regiment located at Sarrebourg, east of France) have provided during 6 months the new system’s first operational deployment. It’s the first unit in Europe (maybe in the world) to implement and operate a full-digitized soldier system for mounted and dismounted combat.
The first packs of the FELIN system were delivered to the 1st Infantry Regiment on September 7th, 2010, and some months after to elements of the 3rd Engineer Regiment and the 1st Marines Artillery Regiment. The delivery rate in the French army is actually four regiments each year until 2015. After one year of individual and collective training, this deployment was a real test. The French Army, the defense industry and other armies engaged in similar programs may learn from this experience.