2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment

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2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment
(2e Régiment étranger de parachutistes)
Badge of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment
Active 9 October 1948 – present
Country  France
Branch French Army
Type Foreign French Airborne Regiment
Role Primary Tasks:
• Air Assault
Other Roles:
• Urban Warfare (1 CIE)
• Mountain warfare (2 CIE)
• Amphibious warfare (3 CIE)
• Sniping and Demolitions (4 CIE)
Size 1,190 men
Part of 11th Parachute Brigade
Garrison/HQ Calvi, Corsica France
Nickname(s) The REP

More Majorum

(in the manner, ways and traditions of our ancestors)
Colors Green & Red

La Legion Marche vers le front

(The Legion marches towards the front)
Anniversaries Camerone Day (30 April),
Saint-Michael Day (29 September)

First Indochina War
Battle of Route Coloniale 4
Battle of Hoa Binh
Battle of Na San
Battle of Dien Bien Phu
Algerian War
Shaba II
Battle of Kolwezi
Lebanese Civil War 1975-1990

Koweït 1990–1991
Ivory Coast
Global War on Terrorism (2001-present)

Colonel Benoît Desmeulles
Rémy Raffalli,
Paul Arnaud de Foïard
Jeannou Lacaze
Philippe Erulin
Bruno Dary
Benoît Puga
Alain Bouquin
Éric Bellot des Minières
Circle Winged Armed Dextrochere Insignia of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment worn on a Green Berets. This Insignia is also worn by French Army Metropolitan and Marine Infantry Paratroopers backgrounded by an Anchor on Red Berets. Parachutiste métropolitain légion-béret.jpg
Abbreviation 2 REP
Each year, the French Foreign Legion commemorates and celebrates Camarón in its headquarters in Aubagne and Bastille Day military parade in Paris; featuring the Pionniers leading and opening the way.

The 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment (French: 2e Régiment étranger de parachutistes, 2e REP) is the only Foreign French 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[1] and part of the spearhead of the French rapid reaction force.[1][2]


As a consequence of the successes of the Parachute Company of 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.[3]


Main article: Indochina War

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'.[4]

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.


Main article: Algerian War

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).[5] The regiment served throughout the war and suffered a total of 741 casualties.[6]

After the armistice on March 19, 1962 the regiment was to moved to Telergma and in September to Mers-el-Kebir.[7] In June 1963 Lt. Col. Caillaud took command with a plan to transformed the now demoralized regiment into an elite para-commando force.[7] In June 1967 the regiment was moved to its current base at Camp Raffalli, Calvi on the island of Corsica.[7] It was assigned to the 11th Division and became part of France's rapid intervention forces.[7]


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.[7]


Main article: Battle of Kolwezi

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.


Main article: Brigade La Fayette

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.


Main article: Opération Serval

A reinforced company of the 2nd REP was parachuted north of Timbuktu on January the 28th, 2013.[8]


Main article: Promo Parachutiste

Considered the hardest and most intensive paratooper training in the world due to the fact that is, the only regiment around the globe where foreign nationals execute in perfection orders sharply in a language that is not theirs and which they would only have the duration of basic training to understand and apply before deploying to a French ordered operational regiment. "Sharping up" for 2nd REP takes 12 months of physical, mental and psychological tests across all terrain and weather conditions including special operations training.

2nd REP is the only regiment of the 11th Parachute Brigade (France) which trains its own paratroopers. The Legionnaires spend their parachute training in Calvi TAP within the walls of the regiment. All other French Army paratrooper units are trained at the École des troupes aéroportées (ETAP) in Pau.


Insignias of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment.

The regiment is composed of around 1140 men organized into 8 companies and a reserve unit of 60 men.[1]

  • Compagnie de commandement et de logistique (CCL) - Command and Logistics Company[9]
  • Compagnie d'administration et de soutien (CAS) - Administrative and Support Company[10]
  • Compagnie d'éclairage et d'appui (CEA) - Reconnaissance & Support Company (recce, anti-tank, sniper & pathfinder sections)[11]
  • 1er CIE - 1st Company (specialises in Urban warfare[12])[13] (a command section and 4 combat sections)
  • 2e CIE - 2nd Company (specialises in Mountain warfare[14]) (a command section and 4 combat sections)
  • 3e CIE - 3rd Company (specialises in Amphibious warfare[15]) (a command section and 4 combat sections)
  • 4e CIE - 4th Company (specialises in sniping and demolitions[16]) (a command section and 4 combat sections)
  • 5e Compagnie de maintenance (5e CM) - 5th Maintenance Company (formed August 1994)[17]
  • 6e Compagnie (6e CIE) - Reserve Unit (founded July 2001 upon the dissolution of the 173rd Infantry Regiment of Corsica)[18]

Commando Group teams 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 maintains the green beret of the French Foreign Legion.[19]


Elements of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Battalion (2e BEP) during the First Indochina War.
Legionnaires of the 1st Foreign Parachute Heavy Mortar Company (1e CEPML) in Indochina.

Operational deployments of 2e REP[20]

  • Chad (in 1969, Operations Pout, Manta, Sparrowhawk)
  • Djibouti (1976 Loyada, 1992 Operation Iskoutir)
  • Zaire (1978, Kolwezi)
  • Lebanon (1982, Operation Orca,1987)
  • 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)
  • Kuwait 1991, Operation Desert storm
  • Côte d'Ivoire (2002, 2004, 2006, 2010 Licorne)
  • Afghanistan (Various operations from 1960 to 1980, OMLT 2008, GTIA Altor 2010, Red SGTIA 2011, Operation PAMIR).
  • Mali (2013, Operation Serval)

Many other "classified" operations all over the globe.


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

Except for the Legionnaires of the 1e REG, 2e REG, 2e REP that conserve the Green Beret; the remainder of the French army 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.


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 backgrounded by a Marine Anchor.

Regimental Colors[edit]

Colors of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment

The regimental colors include stitched in golden letters in its fold the following inscriptions.[21][22]

Regimental Songs[edit]

Chant de Marche : La Légion marche featuring:[23]

La Légion marche vers le front,
En chantant nous suivons,
Héritiers de ses traditions,
Nous sommes avec elle.

Nous sommes les hommes des troupes d'assaut,
Soldats de la vieille Légion,
Demain brandissant nos drapeaux,
En vainqueurs nous défilerons,
Nous n'avons pas seulement des armes,
Mais le diable marche avec nous,
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, car nos aînés de la Légion,
Se battant là-bas, nous emboîtons le pas.

Pour ce destin de chevalier,
Honneur, Fidélité,
Nous sommes fiers d'appartenir
Au 2e REP.


The regimental colors are decorated with:

  • The Croix de Guerre for Theatres of Exterior Operations with 6 palms obtained during the campaigns of the First Indochina War. The 6 palms obtained during the same campaign allows the regiment to wear the red fourragère wearing the ruban colors of the Legion d'Honneur, only two regiments (2e REP & 1e RCP) earned this fourragère for participating in military campaigns in Indochina. The 2e REP has received a second fourragère Valeur Militaire in july 2013[24]

The attribution of the two citations for the same operation theatre confers the right to wear the fourragère with colors of the Croix de la Valeur militaire (as of July, 2013)[26] and the olive colors of the Médaille militaire for the ensemble of the four conferred citations.


Battle honours[edit]

Company, Battalion & Regimental Commanders[edit]

Colonel Paul Marie Félix Jacques René Arnaud de Foïard
Colonel Philippe Louis Edmé Marie François Erulin
Colonel Bruno Dary

Para Company of the 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment ( 1948 - 1949 )[edit]

Compagnie parachutiste 3ème REI Tenure (1948-1949)[28]

  • 1948 -1949 : Jacques Morin

1st Foreign Parachute Battalion, 1e BEP ( 1948 - 1955 )[edit]

1er Bataillon Etranger de Parachutistes Tenure ( 1948 - 1955 )[29]

3rd Foreign Parachute Battalion, 3e BEP ( 1948 - 1955 )[edit]

3e Bataillon Etranger de Parachutistes Tenure ( 1948- 1955 )[30]

  • 1949 - 1951 : captain Darmuzai
  • 1951 - 1952 : lieutanant-colonel Brothier
  • 1952 - 1954 : chef de bataillon Dussert
  • 1954 - 1955 : captain Darmuzai

2nd Foreign Parachute Battalion, 2e BEP ( 1948 - 1955 )[edit]

2e Bataillon Etranger de Parachutistes Tenure ( 1948 - 1955 )[31]

  • 1948 : captain Solnon
  • 1950 : captain Dussert
  • 1950 : chef d'escadrons Barthélémy Rémy Raffali
  • 1952 : chef de bataillon Bloch
  • 1953 : captain Merglen
  • 1953 : chef de bataillon Liesenfelt
  • 1954 : captain Vial
  • 1954 : chef de bataillon Masselot

2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment, 2e REP ( 1955 - present )[edit]

2e Régiment étranger de parachutistes Tenure ( 1955 - 1975 )[32]

  • 1955 : lieutenant-colonel Devismes
  • 1958 : chef de bataillon Masselot
  • 1958 : colonel Lefort
  • 1960 : lieutenant-colonel Darmuzai
  • 1961 : lieutenant-colonel Chenel
  • 1963 : lieutenant-colonel Caillaud
  • 1965 : lieutenant-colonel Arnaud de Foïard
  • 1967 : lieutenant-colonel Lacaze
  • 1970 : lieutenant-colonel Dupoux
  • 1972 : lieutenant-colonel Goupil
  • 1974 : lieutenant-colonel Brette

Tenure ( 1975 - 1995 )

  • 1976 : colonel Philippe Louis Edmé Marie François Erulin
  • 1978 : lieutenant-colonel Roué
  • 1980 : colonel Guignon
  • 1982 : lieutenant-colonel Janvier
  • 1984 : colonel Germanos
  • 1986 : colonel Wabinski
  • 1988 : colonel Coevoet
  • 1990 : colonel Gausserès
  • 1992 : colonel Poulet
  • 1994 : colonel Bruno Dary

Tenure ( 1995–present )

  • 1996 : colonel Puga
  • 1998 : lieutenant-colonel Prevost
  • 2000 : colonel Alain Bouquin
  • 2002 : colonel Maurin
  • 2004 : colonel Paulet
  • 2006 : colonel Houdet
  • 2008 : colonel Bellot des Minières
  • 2010 : colonel Plessy
  • 2012 : colonel Desmeulles
  • 2014 : colonel Meunier

Notable Officers, Sous-Officiers and Legionnaires[edit]

2e REP Regimental Colors

Para Company 3rd REI

1st BEP

3rd BEP

1st REP

2nd BEP

2nd REP


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Les compagnies du 2e REP". Legion Etrangere. Retrieved 2011-12-31. 
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ Windrow, Martin (1985). French Foreign Legion Paratroops. p. 7. 
  4. ^ Windrow, Martin (1985). French Foreign Legion Paratroops. p. 12. 
  5. ^ Windrow, Martin (1985). French Foreign Legion Paratroops. p. 17. 
  6. ^ Windrow, Martin (1985). French Foreign Legion Paratroops. p. 22. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Windrow, Martin (1985). French Foreign Legion Paratroops. pp. 27–28. 
  8. ^ Lignes de Défense, "La Légion saute sur Tombouctou" 2013/01/28 (French)
  9. ^ "Compagnie de Commandement et de Logistique". Foreign Legion. Retrieved 2012-01-20. 
  10. ^ "Compagnie d'Administration et de Soutien". Foreign Legion. Retrieved 2012-01-20. 
  11. ^ "Compagnie d'Eclairage et d'Appui". Foreign Legion. Retrieved 2012-01-20. 
  12. ^ "1ère Compagnie – Le combat en zone urbaine". Foreign Legion. Retrieved 2012-01-20. 
  13. ^ Originally specialised in Night and Anti-tank warfare.
  14. ^ "2e Compagnie – Le combat en montagne". Foreign Legion. Retrieved 2012-01-20. 
  15. ^ "3ème Compagnie – Le combat amphibie". Foreign Legion. Retrieved 2012-12-20. 
  16. ^ "4e Compagnie – Le combat d'usure". Foreign Legion. Retrieved 2012-01-20. 
  17. ^ "5e Compagnie – Maintenance des matériels". Foreign Legion. Retrieved 2012-01-20. 
  18. ^ "6e Compagnie – La réserve du régiment". Foreign Legion. Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  19. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpGQmFguGis
  20. ^ "Historique du 2ème REP". Legion etranger. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  21. ^ Décision n°|12350/SGA/DPMA/SHD/DAT du 14 septembre 2007 relative aux inscriptions de noms de batailles sur les drapeaux et étendards des corps de troupe de l'armée de terre, du service de santé des armées et du service des essences des armées, Bulletin officiel des armées, n°|27, 9 novembre 2007
  22. ^ Arrêté relatif à l'attribution de l'inscription AFN 1952-1962 sur les drapeaux et étendards des formations des armées et services, du 19 novembre 2004 (A) NORDEF0452926A Michèle Alliot-Marie
  23. ^ [1] Official Website of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment, Traditions, Chant du 2e REP
  24. ^ a b c d [2] Official Website of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment, Traditions, Le Drapeau du 2e REP
  25. ^ Site de la Template:11e BP
  26. ^ circulaire n°|13913/SDBC/DECO créant une fourragère à la couleur croix de la Valeur militaire du 28 novembre 2011
  27. ^ Camerone is a Battle Honour shared by all Foreign Legion Regiments, no matter when it was formed.
  28. ^ [3]Official Website of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment, Historique du 2e REP, Les origines...Compagnie parachutiste 3ème REI, Le Chef de Corps
  29. ^ [4] Official Website of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment, Historique du 2e REP, 1er Bataillon Etranger de Parachutistes, Les Chefs de Corps
  30. ^ [5] Official Website of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment, Historique du 2e REP, 3e Bataillon Etranger de Parachutistes, les Chefs de Corps
  31. ^ [6] Official Website of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment, Historique du 2e REP, 2e Bataillon Etranger de Parachutistes, Les Chef de Corps
  32. ^ [7] Official Website of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment,Ils ont commandé le 2éme REP, Regimental Commanders


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°33′13″N 8°48′02″E / 42.5536°N 8.8006°E / 42.5536; 8.8006