2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment
|2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment
(2e Régiment étranger de parachutistes)
Badge of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment
|Active||9 October 1948 – present|
|Allegiance||French Foreign Legion|
|Type||Airborne Light Infantry|
• Air Assault
• Urban Warfare (1 CIE)
• Mountain warfare (2 CIE)
• Amphibious warfare (3 CIE)
• Sniping and Demolitions (4 CIE)
|Part of||11th Parachute Brigade|
|Garrison/HQ||Calvi, Corsica France|
|Motto||More Majorum (after the custom (or manner) of our ancestors)|
|Colors||Green & Red|
|March||La Legion Marche (vers le front)|
|Anniversaries||Camerone Day (30 April),
Saint-Michel Day (29 September)
|Engagements||First Indochina War
*Battle of Route Coloniale 4
*Battle of Hoa Binh
*Battle of Na San
*Battle of Dien Bien Phu
*Battle of Kolwezi
|Colonel Benoît Desmeulles|
Paul Arnaud de Foïard
|Badge of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment worn on Green Berets. This badge is also worn by French Army Paratroopers on Red Berets.|
The 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment (French: 2e Régiment étranger de parachutistes, 2e REP) is an airborne regiment of the French Foreign Legion, stationed at Camp Raffalli near the town of Calvi on the island of Corsica, just south of mainland France. It is part of the 11th Parachute Brigade and the spearhead of the French Rapid reaction force.
As a consequence of the successes of the Parachute Company of 3e REI (French: Compagnie Parachutiste du 3e REI), the Legions' first parachute unit, serving in the First Indochina War it was decided to raise two battalions of Legion paratroops. The 2nd Foreign Parachute Battalion (French: 2e Bataillon étranger de parachutistes, 2e BEP) was formed on October 1, 1948, and based at Setif, Algeria.
The 2e BEP was sent to Indochina on January 13, 1949 and arrived at Saigon on February 8. From then until November they served as 'sector troops'.
In 1950, the battalion became a part of the General Reserve in Indochina. Following the French defeat on Route coloniale 4 in October 1950, the battalion was transported by ship to North Vietnam. The battalion took part in several battles, including the first battle of Nghia Lo (October 1951), the Black River (November–December 1951), and the fight for Route coloniale 6 (January–February 1952) during the Battle of Hoa Binh.
The battalion made a parachute drop on Dien Bien Phu as reinforcement during the Battle of Dien Bien Phu (March–May 1954). Fighting without reinforcements, remnants of the 1er and 2e BEP were overwhelmed after a final assault by Viet Minh forces; fewer than 100 legionnaires of the 2e BEP were taken prisoner. On 1 December 1954, after the surviving members of the battalion had returned from captivity after the Armistice, the 2e BEP was later reconstituted with replacements, and returned by ship to French Algeria.
On December 1, 1955, the 2e BEP was enlarged to a full regiment, and was redesignated as the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment (French: 2e Régiment étranger de parachutistes, 2e REP). The regiment served throughout the war and suffered a total of 741 casualties.
After the armistice on March 19, 1962 the regiment was to moved to Telergma and in September to Mers-el-Kebir. In June 1963 Lt. Col. Caillaud took command with a plan to transformed the now demoralized regiment into an elite para-commnado force. In June 1967 the regiment was moved to its current base at Camp Raffalli, Calvi on the island of Corsica. It was assigned to the 11th Division and became part of France's rapid intervention forces.
Elements of the regiment were deployed to Chad in April 1969 as part of a French force to support the government against two rebel forces. Returning at the end of 1970. Individual companies were deployed again in 1978-79 to protect French lives and again in 1984.
In May 1978, a force of gendarmes katangais entered the Katanga province of Zaire from Angola and occupied the mining town of Kolwezi. They began to loot the town and kill government soldiers and civilians (including several Belgian and French employees of a mining company). At the request of the government of Zaire, 2 REP was airlifted to Kinshasa and dropped on Kolwezi. The operation was a success and the town was quickly recaptured with minor casualties in the ranks of the paratroopers. Some 120 civilian hostages died in the occupation.
2e REP deployed to Afghanistan from January to July 2010, as part of Task Force "Altor". Two Legionnaires, Pole Konrad Rygiel from 2e REP GCP, Slovakian Robert Hutnik from the regiment were killed in action.
2e REP is the only regiment of the 11th Parachute Brigade which trains its own paratroopers. The Legionnaires spend their parachute training in Calvi TAP within the walls of the regiment. All other Army units are trained at the École des troupes aéroportées (ETAP) in Pau.
- Compagnie de commandement et de logistique (CCL) - Command and Logistics Company
- Compagnie d'administration et de soutien (CAS) - Administrative and Support Company
- Compagnie d'éclairage et d'appui (CEA) - Reconnaissance & Support Company (recce, anti-tank, sniper & pathfinder sections)
- 1er CIE - 1st Company (specialises in Urban warfare) (a command section and 4 combat sections)
- 2e CIE - 2nd Company (specialises in Mountain warfare) (a command section and 4 combat sections)
- 3e CIE - 3rd Company (specialises in Amphibious warfare) (a command section and 4 combat sections)
- 4e CIE - 4th Company (specialises in sniping and demolitions) (a command section and 4 combat sections)
- 5e Compagnie de maintenance (5e CM) - 5th Maintenance Company (formed August 1994)
- 6e Compagnie (6e CIE) - Reserve Unit (founded July 2001 upon the dissolution of the 173rd Infantry Regiment of Corsica)
Some members of the 2e REP belong to the Commando Parachute Group - Groupement Commando Parachutiste which is a special forces unit of the 11th Parachute Brigade of the French army. While GCP members of other units wear the parachutist's red beret, the 2e REP GCP members conserves the green beret of the French Foreign Legion.
Operational deployments of 2e REP
- Chad (in 1969, Operations Pout, Manta, Sparrowhawk)
- Djibouti (1976 Loyada, 1992 Operation Iskoutir)
- Zaire (1978, Kolwezi)
- Lebanon (1982, Operation Orca)
- Rwanda (1990, 1992, Operation Noroit)
- Gabon (1990, Operation Shark)
- Iraq (1991, GCP, Operation Daguet)
- Somalia (1992, Operation Oryx)
- Central (1996, Operation Almandine)
- Congo - Brazzaville (1997, Operation Pelican)
- Former Yugoslavia (1993 Sarajevo, 1995 RIF 1996 and 1999 KFOR, Kosovo 2001 and 2003)
- Côte d'Ivoire (2002, 2004, 2006, 2010 Licorne)
- Afghanistan (OMLT 2008, GTIA Altor 2010, Red SGTIA 2011, Operation PAMIR).
- Mali (2013, Operation Serval)
Notable Officers and Legionnaires
2ème REP mortar team in action during the Battle of Kolwezi, 1978.
2ème REP paratroopers roping from a Puma over Calvi.
2ème REP paratroopers jumping over Calvi Drop Zone.
2ème REP paratroopers landing on Calvi Drop Zone during a training course.
2ème REP paratroopers jumping from a C-160.
Camp Raffalli, home to the 2ème REP, as viewed from the water tower.
- The Parachute Regiment, the closest U.K. equivalent
- U.S. Army Rangers, closest U.S. equivalent
- The 35th "Tzanhanim" Brigade, closest Israeli equivalent
- Rhodesian Light Infantry, a Parachute/Commando regiment informally known as "Rhodesia's Foreign Legion."
- "Les compagnies du 2e REP". Legion Etrangere. Retrieved 2011-12-31.
- The Special Forces, A History Of The World's Elite Fighting Units By Peter MacDonald, Paperback: 256 pages, Publisher: WH Smith (1987) ISBN 0-603-03895-6
- Windrow, Martin (1985). French Foreign Legion Paratroops. p. 7.
- Windrow, Martin (1985). French Foreign Legion Paratroops. p. 12.
- Windrow, Martin (1985). French Foreign Legion Paratroops. p. 17.
- Windrow, Martin (1985). French Foreign Legion Paratroops. p. 22.
- Windrow, Martin (1985). French Foreign Legion Paratroops. pp. 27–28.
- The Making of a Legionnaire, Peter MacDonald, Sidgwick & Jackson Ltd (Jan 1991), ISBN 0-283-06015-8
- The French Foreign Legion: The Inside Story of the World-Famous Fighting Force, John Robert Young, Len Deighton, Thames & Hudson (January 1, 1988), ISBN 0-500-27382-0
- "Compagnie de Commandement et de Logistique". Foreign Legion. Retrieved 2012-01-20.
- "Compagnie d'Administration et de Soutien". Foreign Legion. Retrieved 2012-01-20.
- "Compagnie d'Eclairage et d'Appui". Foreign Legion. Retrieved 2012-01-20.
- "1ère Compagnie – Le combat en zone urbaine". Foreign Legion. Retrieved 2012-01-20.
- Originally specialised in Night and Anti-tank warfare.
- "2e Compagnie – Le combat en montagne". Foreign Legion. Retrieved 2012-01-20.
- "3ème Compagnie – Le combat amphibie". Foreign Legion. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
- "4e Compagnie – Le combat d'usure". Foreign Legion. Retrieved 2012-01-20.
- "5e Compagnie – Maintenance des matériels". Foreign Legion. Retrieved 2012-01-20.
- "6e Compagnie – La réserve du régiment". Foreign Legion. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
- "Historique du 2ème REP". Legion etranger. Retrieved 2013-02-05.
- Camerone is a Battle Honour shared by all Foreign Legion Regiments, no matter when it was formed.
- Official website of the French Foreign Legion
- Porch, Douglas. The French Foreign Legion. New York: Harper Collins, 1991. ISBN 978-0-06-092308-2
- Braby, Wayne & Windrow, Martin. French Foreign Legion Paratroops. Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 1985. ISBN 978-0-85045-629-5
- Lochrie, Alex. Fighting for the French Foreign Legion. London: Pen & Sword, 2009. ISBN 978-1-84884-085-0
- The 2e Rep: French Foreign Legion Paratroopers, Yves Debay, Histoire & Collections, 2003, ISBN 2-913903-06-1, ISBN 978-2-913903-06-7