9th Light Armoured Marine Brigade (France)

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9e Brigade d'Infanterie de Marine
9e B.L.B.Ma.jpg

July 1 1870 - present

9th Colonial Infantry Division
(1943 - 1947)
9th Brigade
(1963 - 1976)
9th Marine Infantry Division
(1976 - 1999)
9th Light Armoured Marine Brigade
1999 - 2013
9th Marine Infantry Brigade
(2013 - present)
Country France
Branch French Army
Type Armour
Role Amphibious warfare

almost 8000 men

1er R.I.Ma
2e R.I.Ma
3e R.I.Ma
126e R.I.
11e R.A.Ma
6e R.G.
Part of CFAT
Garrison/HQ Poitiers
Motto(s) Semper et Ubique (La)
Toujours et Partout (Fr)
Always and All over (Eng)

9th Colonial Infantry Division
World War II

Indochina War
9th Brigade
9th Marine Infantry Division
Lebanese Civil War

Gulf War
Bosnian War
9th Light Armoured Marine Brigade
9th Marine Infantry Brigade

Global War on Terrorism (2001–present)

The 9th Marine Infantry Brigade (French: 9e Brigade d'Infanterie de Marine, 9e BIMa) is a light armoured, amphibious unit of the Troupes de marine of the French Army. The brigade is the alter ego of the 6th Light Armoured Brigade (French: 6e Brigade Légère Blindée, 6e BLB) of the Commandement de la force d'action terrestre.

In July 1963, the 9e Marine Infantry Division was created in Brittany. On 1 January 1976, the 9th Division became the 9th Marine Infantry Division (9e division d'Infanterie de Marine, 9e DIMa), attached to the land intervention force, then the Rapid Action Force from 1984. On 1 July 1999, the 9th Marine Infantry Division became the 9th Marine Light Armoured Brigade. On 1 January 2013, the unit was renamed and downsized to the 9th Marine Infantry Brigade (French: 9e Brigade d'Infanterie de Marine, 9e BIMa).

Creation and different nominations[edit]

  • 1943 - 1947 : creation of the 9th Colonial Infantry Division (French: 9e Division d'Infanterie Coloniale, 9e D.I.C )
  • 1963 - 1976 : designated as 9th Brigade (French: 9e Brigade, 9eB )
  • 1976 - 1999 : designated as 9th Marine Infantry Division (French: 9e Division d'Infanterie de Marine, 9e D.I.Ma )
  • 1999 - 2013 : designated as 9th Light Armoured Marine Brigade (French: 9e Brigade Légère Blindée de Marine, 9e B.L.B.Ma )
  • 2013–present : designated as 9th Marine Infantry Brigade (French: 9e Brigade d'Infanterie de Marine, 9e B.I.Ma )


Landing French 9th Colonial Infantry Division troops during the invasion of Elba. 16 June 1944.

The 9e is heir to the Blue Division which illustrated capability during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, in particular during the Battle of Bazeilles and the 9th Colonial Infantry Division, part of the Free French Forces , which distinguished themselves in the apprehending of Elba in June 1944 and the disembarking in Provence on August 15 of the same year. The Division then made way to Indochina, where it was placed dormant (without being dissolved) in December 1947. The unit was reactivated in July 1963 in Brittany under the designation of 9th Brigade. On January 1, 1976, the division was baptized as 9th Marine Infantry Division 9e DIMa. Accordingly, the division was attached to the terrestrial intervention force, then the Rapid Reaction Force, FAR since 1983. On July 1, 1999, the unit was restructured in a brigade and was designated as 9th Light Armoured Marine Brigade (BLBMa). On January 1, 2013, the brigade was named to the current designation as the 9th Marine Infantry Brigade (9e BIMa).

The headquarter staff is stationed in Poitiers since July 1, 2010. The motto of the brigade is « Semper et Ulbique », Latin for « Always and All over ».

The « 9th » illustrated capability on all exterior theatres of operations where France has been engaged since World War II: Indochina, Lebanon, Kuwait, Macedonia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Congo, Tchad, Ivory Coast. From October 2010 to May 2011, the Brigade armed essentially Brigade La Fayette in Afghanistan by projecting a headquarter staff ( composed 50% of Marines, Bigors, Marine sapeurs of the 9e BIMa) and the tactical interam groupment of Richelieu armed by the 2nd Marine Infantry Regiment 2e RIMa. On January 2013, elements of the Brigade took part in Operation Serval.

In all combat engagement theatres around the globe, the 9e BIMa illustrated worth of the oldest traditions of the French Troop de Marine.


The principal mission of the 9e BIMa, for the which the brigade is apt to revolve around:

  • Amphibious actions: quick projection of a headquarter staff and one reinforced battalion (1,400 men) by naval amphibious marine means, such as Mistral-class amphibious assault ship.
  • Security missions, securitization of urbain oriented combat designated areas.
  • Deep decentralization action of search and reconnaissance oriented missions.
  • Rapid and deep incursions (armored raids, 100 km range)

The 9e BIMa is present around the globe and also relieves missions of short duration such as in Senegal, Guyana in Mayotte and Djibouti. The 9eBIMa actively participates to missions with the French Navy as the land terrestrial land component of Amphibious groups.

The 9e BIMa is twinned with 3rd Royal Marines Commando Brigade of the Royal Navy. Within this title, from May 28 to June 1, 2012, the center of amphibious operations of the headquarter staff embarked on BPC Mistral with the designated exercise Narval. 10 officers of the headquarter staff of the (twin brigade) participated in light of preparation to exercise Corsican Lion which took place from October 17 to October 26, 2012.

Organization 2016[edit]

Brigade Commanders[edit]

  • 2003 - 2005 : Général Jean-Paul Thonier
  • 2005 - 2007 : Général Hervé Charpentier
  • 2007 - 2009 : Général Éric Bonnemaison
  • 2009 - 2011 : Général Jean-François Hogard
  • 2011 - 2013 : Général François Lecointre
  • 2013 - 2015 : Général Vincent Guionie
  • 2015 - 201x :: Général François Labuze

See also[edit]

External links[edit]