11th Parachute Brigade (France)

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11e Brigade Parachutiste
Le 11e.B.P..jpg
Active
  • 11th Light Intervention Division (1961-1963)
  • 11th Division (1963-1971)
  • 11th Parachute Division (1971-1999)
  • 11th Parachute Brigade (1999-present)
Country France
Branch French Army
Type French Airborne Brigade
Size

8,500

1e RCP
1e RHP
1st RTP
2nd REP
3rd RPIMa
8th RPIMa
11th CCTP
17th RGP
35e RAP
Garrison/HQ Balma, Toulouse
Anniversaries Saint-Michael, September 29
Engagements

Algerian War
Operation Tacaud
Operation Bonite
Lebanese Civil War

Gulf War
Global War on Terrorism

Commanders
Current
commander
Olivier Salaün
Notable
commanders
Insignia
Circled Winged Armed Dextrochere Insignia of the 11th Parachute Brigade worn on French Army Green Berets of French Foreign Legion Paratroopers and Red Berets of Metropolitan Paratroopers. Anchored Winged Armed Dextrochere Insignia worn on Red Berets (Amaranth) of French Army Marine Infantry Paratroopers

Parachutiste métropolitain légion-béret.jpg

Parachutistes coloniaux-béret.jpg
Abbreviation 11 BP

The 11th Parachute Brigade (French: 11e Brigade Parachutiste, 11e BP) is a unit of the French Army, dominantly infantry, part of the French Airborne Units and specialized in air combat and air assault. Its primary vocation is to project in emergency in order to contribute a first response to a situational crisis. Elite unit of the French Army, the brigade is commanded by a général de brigade (Brigadier General) with headquarters based in Balma near Toulouse. Its soldiers and airborne Marines wear the red beret (amaranth) except for the Legionnaires of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment who wear the green beret of the French Foreign Legion.

The 11th Parachute Brigade originally the 11th Light Intervention Division (11e DLI) was created from airborne units contingents of the 10th Parachute Division and 25th Parachute Division of France,[1] both dissolved following the Algiers putsch of 1961 during the Algerian War.

Creation and different nominations[edit]

  • On May 1, 1961; the 11th Light Intervention Division (French: 11e division légère d'intervention) was created from dissolved airborne units of the 10th and 25th Parachute Division.[2]
  • On December 1, 1963; the 11th Division was created by merging the 11th Light Intervention Division and the 9th Marine Infantry Brigade.[3]
  • On April 1, 1971; the 11th Division becomes the 11th Parachute Division (11e DP).
  • On June 1999; the 11th Parachute Division becomes the 11th Parachute Brigade.

Origin and history[edit]

11th Light Intervention Division[edit]

Organizational Chart of the 11th Light Intervention Division on May 1, 1961

the 11th Light Interventtion Division was created on May 1, 1961 from airborne elements of the 10th Parachute Division and 25th Parachute Division, both dissolved following the Algiers putsch of 1961, and from the 11th Intervention Division (11e DI), set at the time to form the 3rd Parachute Division.[4] The division commanded by General Marzloff[5] rejoins the metropole on July 1, 1961. On August 1, 1963, the 13th Parachute Dragoon Regiment leaves the division and takes garrison in Lorraine at Dieuze and Nancy.[6]

Order of Battle[edit]

Since creation in November 30, 1963; the 11th Light Intervention Division is constituted of the following:

  • Command and Support Structure
    • 61st Headquarters Company (61e CQG)
    • 61st Transmission Company (61e CT)
    • French Army Light Aviation (ALAT) Platoon
    • Transport Group 513 (GT 513)
    • 61st Airbone Engineer Company (61e CGAP)
    • 61st Repair Division Company (61e CRD)
    • 61st Medical Company (61e CMA)
    • 61st Provision Section (61e SRI)

At the time, regiments of the French Foreign Legion did not compromise the newly enacted division. On October 1, 1963; the division integrates the BOMAP (Airborne Operational Mobile Base).

11th Division[edit]

On December 1, 1963, the 11th Light Intervention Division merges with the 9th Colonial Infantry Division and becomes the 11th Division. Starting July 1966 and excluding elements of division support; the unit activiates and operates around three distinct brigades, the 9th Marine Infantry Brigade at Saint-Malo, the 20th Airborne Brigade (20e BA) at Toulouse and the 25th Airborne Brigade (25e BA) at Pau.

A support battalion, the 61e BS is created on February 1, 1964 at Auch. The 61e BS supervises health services and provisions in the division. In March, the 61st Transmission Airborne Brigade (61e BTAP) steps in at Pau and regroups the existing transmission companies.

On July 1966, the 11th Division reaches 16,000 men and is composed of two brigades (the 20e BAP at Toulouse and the 25e BAP at Pau) forming five parachute regiments.[7]

Order of Battle[edit]

Organizational Chart of the 11th Division on July 1, 1966

11th Parachute Division[edit]

Mortars in action during rescue operations at Kolwezi.
A radio on a jeep during operation Bonite.

The 11th division disappears on April 1, 1971 to give formation to the 11th Parachute Division at Toulouse. The 9th Outremer Brigade (9e BOM) leaves the division and the 20th Airborne Brigade (20e BAP), the 25th Airborne Brigade (25e BAP) become subsequently the 1st and 2nd Parachute Brigades and integrate each one support battalion. The three support regiments are reorganized in two interam regiments of intervention that conserve nevertheless their original nominations (1st Parachute Hussar Regiment and the 35th Parachute Artillery Regiment). the 17th Parachute Engineer Regiment disappears.

Order of Battle[edit]

On July 1, 1971, the 11th Parachute Division is composed of the following:[8]

On August 1, 1973; the 61st Headquarter Squadron and the 61st Transmission Company are regrouped and form the 61st BCT. The following year in 1974, the 17th Parachute Engineer Regiment is recreated and the interarm regiments find their specialities. On August 1, 1974, the 1st Marine Prachute Infantry Regiment (1st RPIMa) is reattached to the division.

Units belonging to the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment (2e REP) and the 35th Parachute Artillery Regiment (35e RAP) take part in Operation Tacaud starting from 1978 in Tchad.[9]

Still in 1978, and within the cadre of military cooperation with Zaïre which anticipates assistance and formation, the 2nd Foreign Prachute Regiment is parachuted during the Battle of Kolwezi, and participates in alliance with Belgium Paratroopers to the Rescue of Kolwezi. During this intervention, two teams of the 13th Parachute Dragoon Regiment and one team from the 1st Marine Parachute Infantry Regiment (1st RPIMa) are deployed to forward operating terrain on observation and reconnaissance missions.

During this time, France was manned with an intervention force of 20,000 strong composed of the 11th Parachute Division, the 9th Marine Infantry Brigade (9e DIMa), aerial forces and naval forces.[10]

On October 23, 1983; one company of the 1st Parachute Chasseur Regiment stationed in Lebanon within the Multinational Force in Lebanon is victim to the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing and occasions 55 paratrooper deaths within the ranks of the 1e RCP and the 3 paratroopers within the ranks of the 9th Parachute Chasseur Regiment.

In the aftermath of the Cold War, the French Army reorganised and the 11e DP became the 11th Parachute Brigade in 1999.

11th Parachute Brigade[edit]

The 11th Parachute Brigade was formed in 1999 at Balma (Balman Toulouse Garrison) on the base of the 11 Parachute Division on the occasion of the restructuring of the French Army. The brigade is engaged in Afghanistan and Africa.

Africa[edit]

The 11th Parachute Brigade and mainly the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment takes part in Operation Licorne in the Ivory Coast.

Afghanistan[edit]

The parachute brigade intervened in Afghanistan starting 2006 within and part of the French Detachment of NATO Insternational Force.[11] The brigade was relieved in September 2007 by the mountain infantry Alpines Chasseurs of the 27th Mountain Infantry Brigade (27th BIM).

On August 18, 2008; a section of the 8th Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment (8th RPMIa) lost eight men during the Ambush of Uzbin.

The paratroopers of the 1st Parachute Chasseur Regiment (1e RCP) made up the first rotation. The first rotationweare in place by Sunday May 1, 2011 in the region of Kapisa Province and four more rotations will follow. A total of 650 military personnel were scheduled for a zone mission securitization.

On May 10, 2011; two combat parachute companies of the 1st Parachute Chasseur Regiment (1st RCP), almost 200 men, commanded by General Maurin,[12] commander of the 11th Parachute Brigade, were projected East of the country towards Nijrab District for a mission of months. As a result, 1000 paratroopers were engaged in Afghanistan, hailing principally from the 11th Parachute Brigade and mainly the 1st Parachute Chasseur Regiment while being supported by the 1st Parachute Hussar Regiment, the 17th Parachute Engineer Regiment, 35th Parachute Artillery Regiment and the 1st Train Parachute Regiment.[13]

While preparing this mission, the 11th Parachute Brigade conducted long rehearsals of realistic situational outcomes and that in order to achieve the operational readiness of the military that constitute the command of the brigade La Fayette from April to October 2001. In Afghanistan, these reinforcements served from a 6-month period to a year at Nijrab District in the provence of North of Kapisa while being part of and attached to the Tactical Interam Group of Kapisa (TIGK).

As of June 20, 2011; the 11th Parachute Brigade is the brigade that endured the most losses with 18 casualties in Afghanistan.[14]

Present Brigade[edit]

Subordinations[edit]

The 11th Parachute Brigade, the only parachute brigade of the French Army, is at the disposition of the Ground Forces Command. The brigade does not include all the parachutes regiments of France, the 1st Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment (1e RPIMa) and the 13th Parachute Dragon Regiment (13e RDP) are attached to the French Army Special Forces Brigade while the 2nd Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment (2e RPIMa) stationed permanently in outre-mer near the island of the Réunion is attached at the disposition of the Armed Forces Zones of the Indian Ocean (FAZSOI).

Order of Battle[edit]

Organizational Chart of the 11th Parachute Brigade in 2011

the 11th Prachute Brigade is a unit composed primarily in majority of infantry with capable elements of artillery, light cavalry and combat engineer regiments. The brigade also includes Commando Parachute Group, GCP ; an elite operational unit belonging to the circle of French Special Forces.

At the beginning of years 2000, the brigade was located in south-west of France except for the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment situated in Calvi in Corse. The brigade is 8500 men and women strong and forms a central command with 8 operational regiments within the following composition:

Since 2013[edit]

In January 2013, 250 French paratroopers from the 11th Parachute Brigade jumped into Northern Mali to support an offensive to capture the city of Timbuktu.[15]

Mission[edit]

The 11th Parachute Brigade is a light mobile brigade capable of projecting in emergency around the world in order to contribute a first response to a situational crisis.

Equipment[edit]

Vehciles[edit]

Armement[edit]

Artillery[edit]
General Infantry[edit]
Individual Infantry[edit]

Traditions[edit]

The Archangel Michael featured in Mont Saint-Michel and the Insignia of the 9th Parachute Chasseur Regiment.

Except for the Legionnaires of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment that conserve the Green Beret; the remainder of the metropolitan and marine paratroopers forming the 11th Parachute Brigade wear the Red Beret.

The Archangel Saint Michael, patron of the French paratroopers is celebrated on September 29.

The prière du Para (Prayer of the Paratrooper) was written by André Zirnheld in 1938.

Insignias[edit]

Just like the paratrooper Brevet of the French Army; the Insignia of French Paratroopers was created in 1946. The French Army Insignia of metropolitan Paratroopers represents a closed <<winged armed dextrochere>>, meaning a "right winged arm" armed with a sword pointing upwards. The Insignia makes reference to the Patron of Paratroopers. In fact, the Insignia represents <<the right Arm of Saint Michael>>, the Archangel which according to Liturgy is the <<Armed Arm of God>>. This Insignia is the symbol of righteous combat and fidelity to superior missions. The French Army Insignia of Marine Infantry Paratroopers is grounded by a Marine Anchor.

Flags[edit]

Regimental Songs[edit]

Decorations[edit]

Honours[edit]

Battle honours[edit]

Brigade Commanders[edit]

11th Light Intervention Division Tenure (1961 - 1963) -

11th Division Tenure (1963 - 1969)

  • 1963 - 1965 : Brigadier General Boussarie
  • 1965 - 1966 : Brigadier General Andre Lalande
  • 1967 - 1969 : Brigadier General de Seguins Pazzis

11th Parachute Division Tenure (1971 - 1999)

  • 1973 - 1975 : Brigadier General Le Borgne
  • 1975 - 1977 : Brigadier General de Foïard
  • 1977 - 1979 : Brigadier General Lacaze
  • 1979 - 1981 : Brigadier General Jacques Lemaire [16]
  • 1981 - 1983 : Brigadier General Schmitt
  • 19xx - 19xx : Brigadier General Guignon
  • 1991 - 199x : Brigadier General de Courrèges
  • 1991 - 1993 : Brigadier General Germanos
  • 1993 - 199x : Brigadier General Gobilliard
  • 1994 - 1996 : Brigadier General Godinot
  • 1996 - 1998 : Brigadier General Soubirou
  • 1998 - 1999 : Brigadier General Valentin

11th Parachute Brigade Tenure (1999–present)

  • 1999 - 2000 : Brigadier General Marcel Valentin
  • 2000 - 2002 : Brigadier General Poncet
  • 2002 - 2004 : Brigadier General Beth
  • 2004 - 2006 : Brigadier General Jacques Lechevalier
  • 2006 - 2008 : Brigadier General Jean-Marc Duquesne
  • 2008 - 2010 : Brigadier General Jean-Pierre Bosser
  • 2010 - 2011 : Brigadier General Emmanuel Maurin
  • 2011 - 2013 : Brigadier General Patrice Paulet
  • 2013 - 20** : Brigadier General Salaün

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Clayton, 'France, Soldiers, and Africa', Brassey's Defence Publishers, 1988, p.190
  2. ^ In Revue Uniformes no 278 (sept-oct 2011), page 30
  3. ^ History of French Paratroopers Histoire des parachutistes français, page 556
  4. ^ In Revue Uniformes no 278 (sept-oct 2011), page 30
  5. ^ in paratroopers, the honor to serve Les paras l'honneur de servir , page 151
  6. ^ History of French Paratroopers Histoire des parachutistes français, page 556
  7. ^ History of French Paratroopers Histoire des parachutistes français, page 557 and 559
  8. ^ History of French Paratroopers Histoire des parachutistes français, page 556
  9. ^ [1], Article by De Lespinois, Jérôme; Emploi de la force aérienne - Tchad 1969–1987,journal "Penser les Ailes françaises", number 6, 2005, pages 70–72
  10. ^ [2] Article on French Ministry of Defense, title "L'opération "Léopard", journal collection "mémoire et citoyenneté", number 37, year 1978, page1
  11. ^ Site de la représentation permanente française auprès de l'Otan, La 11e brigade parachutiste de Toulouse prend le relais en Afghanistan : - La 11e brigade parachutiste de Toulouse prend le relais en Afghanistan - La France à l'Otan
  12. ^ 200 soldats mobilisés pour l'Afghanistan - Grand Sud : Ladépêche.fr (part en mission pour une année entière, il prendra en charge l'état-major en Afghanistan baptisé « Task Force Lafayette »)
  13. ^ Vocation militaire: 200 soldats mobilisés pour l'Afghanistan
  14. ^ [3] In memoriam of 1st Class Florian Morillo; author, Jean-Marc Tanguy 19 juin 2011,Le mamouth
  15. ^ "French-led operation looks north after Timbuktu". france24.com/en. FRANCE 24. 29 January 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  16. ^ http://www.lunion.presse.fr/article/autres-actus/necrologie-deces-du-general-jacques-lemaire-deces-du-general-jacques-lemaire

External links[edit]