2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment
|2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment|
(2e Régiment Etranger de Parachutistes)
Badge of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment
1948 – 1955
December 1, 1955 – present
|Allegiance||French Foreign Legion|
|Type||Foreign Airborne Regiment|
• Air Assault
• Urban Warfare (1re CIE)
• Mountain warfare (2e CIE)
• Amphibious warfare (3e CIE)
• Sniping and Demolitions (4e CIE)
• Desert Warfare (5e CIE)
|Part of||11th Parachute Brigade|
|Garrison/HQ||Calvi, Corsica France|
|Colors||Green & Red|
La Legion Marche(The Legion Marches)
Camerone Day (30 April),|
Saint-Michael Day (29 September)
|Colonel Benoît Desmeulles|
Paul Arnaud de Foïard
Éric Bellot des Minières
|Insignia of 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment|
The 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment (French: 2e Régiment étranger de parachutistes, 2e REP) is the only foreign airborne regiment of the French Foreign Legion and France. 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 part of the spearhead of the French rapid reaction force.
The 2 REP is an elite regiment that operates with the same structure of special forces. Because of differences in infantry the 2 REP is composed of companies with specific specializations. However, it is not considered as one because of its foreign status. The 2 REP and other regiments of the French Foreign Legion differentiates from other armies in the world because its recruits are often experienced militaries from all around the world, which brings the best of their knowledge and make the legion a pool of the best international soldiers of all around the world.
History, creation and different nominations
3rd Parachute Company of the 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment - Para Co. du 3e REI (1948-1949)
Compagnie Parachutiste du 3e Régiment Etranger d'Infanterie
When the idea of paratroopers became accepted by the Legion, TAP formations already presented titles of glory on all the lists of battlefields across World War II. Nevertheless, Indochina would really be the crucible in which morale "état d'esprit" and French TAP style would surface. The glory of sacrifice and the nostalgia of a lost cause would entertain the myth.
The Parachute Company of the 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment, (Co. Para du 3e REI) was created on April 1, 1948. The command of the Para company of the 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment was entrusted to a young 23-year-old veteran, Legion lieutenant Jacques Morin as Regimental Commander or "Chef de Corps" of the Co. Para du 3e REI from April 31, 1948 to May 31, 1949. Volunteers filled in the ranks from the foreign regiments present already in Indochina. Dependent on the organization of the 3e REI, the raised paratrooper company was operated under the operational missions of the 3rd Indochina Air Infantry Battalion of the 1st Parachute Chasseur Regiment, (III/1er RCP). Stationed at Hanoi, the Para company engaged immediately and took part in active airborne operations. Following a series of brilliant combat action operations in the most exposed sectors of the high regions and airborne operations in the Delta, the para company of the 3e REI was dissolved on May 31, 1949. At the time of the dissolve, the para company counted : 3 Legion officers, 14 Sous-officiers, 92 Legion Corporals and Legionnaires, all of whom were transferred to the 1st Foreign Parachute Battalion, (1er B.E.P) which just disembarked in Indochina.
The insignia of the Parachute Company of the 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment was created in 1948 by the Jacques Morin. The combat company insignia represents an eastern dragon, winged and armed with a sword guarding the insignia of the 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment at the center of legion colors.
1st Foreign Parachute Battalion - 1er BEP (1948-1955)
1er Bataillon Etranger de Parachutistes, 1er B.E.P - I,II,III Formations -
The 1st Foreign Parachute Battalion, (1er B.E.P, I formation) was created on July 1, 1948 at Khamisis, in Algeria. The 1er B.E.P disembarked in Indochina on November 12 and was engaged in combat operations in the Tonkin. On June 1, 1949, the Para Co. 3e REI completed its count. On November 17, 1950; the 1er B.E.P (1er B.E.P, I Formation) jumped on That Khé and sacrificed itself in Coc Xa to protect the unfolding of the RC4. Heading and leading tradition was 1er B.E.P battalion commander Chef de Corps du 1er B.E.P, Commandant Pierre Segrétain.
The battalion dissolved on December 31, 1950; was reconstituted on March 1, 1951 (1er B.E.P, II formation) and was seen participating excessively in combat operations at Cho Ben, on the black river and at Annam. On November 21, 1953; the reconstituted 1er B.E.P was parachuted on Dien Bien Phu. In this gigantic battle, the reconstituted (1er B.E.P, II formation) 1er B.E.P counted 575 killed and missing for the second time. Amongst the fatal casualties featured Lieutenants Dumont, Boisbouvier and de Stabenrath, killed in between April 1 and May 13 as well as Sergent-Chef Grimault, killed on March 30. Reconstituted for the third time (1er B.E.P, III formation) on May 19, 1954, the 1er B.E.P left Indochina on February 8, 1955. The 1er B.E.P totaled 5 citations at the orders of the armed forces and the fourragère of the colors of the Médaille militaire. The 1st Foreign Parachute Battalion (1er B.E.P, III Formation) became the 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment (1er R.E.P) in Algeria on September 1, 1955.
3rd Foreign Parachute Battalion - 3e BEP (1948-1955)
3e Bataillon Etranger de Parachutistes, 3e B.E.P - I, II, III, IV Formations -
Piror being designate as the 3rd Foreign Parachute Regiment 3e REP; the 3rd Foreign Parachute Battalion 3e BEP was created on April 1949 at Mascara. The 7th combat company of paratrooper training of the 1st Foreign rejoined Sétif 7 months later, starting November 15, 1949, becoming officially the 3rd Foreign Parachute Battalion (3e B.E.P). The mission of the 3e B.E.P was to instruct and form the legionnaires destined to relieve the 1er B.E.P and 2e B.E.P. While mainly formed and created to instruct the Legionnaires, the 3rd Foreign Paratrooper Battalion (3e B.E.P) participated in operations of maintaining order in Tunisia from January to June 1952.
On May 4, 1954; when struggle became of a rage at Dien Bien Phu, the 3e B.E.P made and cleared way to Indochina. On May 25, 1954, the battalion is at Haïphong. On June 1, the count of the men forming the 3e B.E.P was transferred to the 2e B.E.P during the reconstitution of the later. The 3e B.E.P merged with the injured of annihilated foreign battalions while in the meantime, owing to numerous volunteers, the 3e B.E.P was seen reconstituted at Sétif. Back to Algeria, the three foreign paratrooper battalions (1er B.E.P, 2e B.E.P, 3e B.E.P) would be seen filling the ranks of the foreign paratrooper regiment. On September 1, 1955, the 3e B.E.P became the 3rd Foreign Parachute Regiment (3e R.E.P). Based at Batna, the regiment became opeational but then was dissolved on December 1, 1955; the men constituting the regiment were merged with the 2nd Foreign Parachute Battalion, (2e B.E.P) to form a new corps, the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment, (2e R.E.P).
The insignia of the 3rd Foreign Parachute Battalion was created in 1950 by Captain Darmuzai, battalion commander Chef de Bataillon, CBA of the 3e B.E.P.
1st Foreign Parachute Regiment - 1er REP (1955-1961)
1er Régiment Etranger de Parachutistes, 1er R.E.P
Disembarked in Algeria on February 25, 1955, the 1st Foreign Parachute Battalion 1er B.E.P became the 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment 1er R.E.P on September 1, 1955. Based at Zéralda, the regiment was composed of one command and support company, one assault company and three combat companies. Quite quickly, operations commenced : Nementchas, Tunisian and Moroccan frontiers, Ouarsenis and de Suez. On November 6, 1956; the regiment disembarked at Port-Fouad and operated quickly along the canal. The progression of the regiment was halted by the ceasefire and the regiment was quick to make way to operate around the mountains of Algeria by December 10.
Following the petrol route in the Sahara, combat operations engaged the regiment non-stop in the region of Guelma. The magnificent results were endured by the death of superior French regimental commander Chef de Corps Legion Lieutenant Colonel Pierre Paul Jeanpierre; the legendary Para Legionnaire leading; who fell to the ennemy on May 28, 1958 along with a couple of hundred legionnaires. In 1959, action around the mountains retook course in operations "Jumelles", "Cigales" and "Ariege" in the Aurès, ending in Kabylie. Lory representation of paratrooper legionniares; the reputation of the 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment (1er R.E.P) was tarnished with the unfortunate events of the General's Putsch. The regiment was dissolved on April 30, 1961 at Thiersville.
Since creation, the 1st Foreign Paratrooper Regiment retook the insignia of the 1st Foreign Parachute Battalion (1er B.E.P), with a new inscription "1er R.E.P".
2nd Foreign Parachute Battalion - 2e BEP (1948-1955)
2e Bataillon Etranger de Parachutistes, 2e B.E.P - I, II, III, IV, V Formations
The 2nd Foreign Parachute Battalion (2e B.E.P) was created on October 1, 1948 by execution of a ministerial prescription dating to March 27, 1948. The combat companies of the 2e B.E.P were constituted by the 4th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion (4e D.B.L.E) in Morocco and the depot of the foreign regiments in Sidi-bel-Abbès, were assigned by the 25th Airborne Division Element (French: 25e Elément Divisionnaire Aéroporté, EDAP/25). Comprising one command company and three combat companies type fusiliers-voltigeurs, the battalion made and cleared way to Oran on January 19, 1949, destined for Indochina. Disembarked in Saïgon on February 9, the battalion was directed to Kep (Cambodia) by land route. On November 1949, the battalion took base in Quan Thé.
The first combat engagements of the 2e B.E.P have for theatre of operations, Cambodia, Cochinchine and Annam. On October 1950, the 2e B.E.P was summoned to Tonkin. Reinforced by a heavy mortars company, the battalion engaged in all military operations in the Delta, in Thaï lands, Mékong and the plains of Jarres. The impressive series of combat engagements were earned at the battle of Nghia Lo, colonial route N°6 (RC6), Hoa Binh and the defense of the camp by an airborne operation on Langson. Crowned of a magnificent epoque, the 2e B.E.P made and cleared way to Dien Bien Phu on April 9 and 10 of 1954 in the middle of the furnace. Following the couter-attack of supporting point "Huguet", led by a rare determination during the night of the 22 and 23 of April; the 2e B.E.P and the 1st Foreign Parachute Battalion (1er B.E.P) merged to form a single Foreign Marching Battalion. On May 7, the Foreign Marching Battalion was dissolved and the 2e B.E.P was recreated by members of the 3rd Foreign Parachute Battalion (3e B.E.P). On June 1, 1954, the 2e B.E.P left Asia on November 1, 1955. The colors of the battalion were decorated with 6 citations at the orders of the armed forces and the Fourragère of the colors of the Legion of Honor. The losses of the 2e B.E.P endured 1500 Legion Officers, Sous-Officiers and Legionnaires killed along with their "chef de corps", Legion Commandant Barthélémy Rémy Raffali leading and heading tradition. Returned to Algeria, the 2nd Foreign Parachute Battalion (2e B.E.P) became the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment (2e R.E.P) on December 1, 1955.
The insignia of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Battalion was created in 1949, in Cambodia. The battalion insignia represents an Eastern winged Dragon making reference to the original implementation in Asia. The three point triangular shape of the insignia represents the form of an open Parachute; centered by the flag colors of the Legion; and is symbol of the perfection that is expected of the men that may serve this regiment. The battalion was commanded at the time by commandant Solnon (1948-1950).
2nd Foreign Paratrooper Regiment - 2e REP (1955-present)
2e Regiment Etranger de Parachutistes, 2e R.E.P
2e BEP then 2e REP in Algeria
On December 1, 1955, the 2nd Foreign Parachute Battalion, 2e B.E.P was enlarged to a full regiment, and was redesignated as the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment (French: 2e Régiment étranger de parachutistes, 2e R.E.P). The regiment served throughout the Algerian War and suffered a total of 741 casualties. After the armistice on March 19, 1962 the regiment was moved to Telergma and in September to Mers-el-Kebir. In June 1963 Lt. Col. Caillaud exercised command, regrouped and reformed the R.E.P regiment into an elite para-commando 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.
2e REP post 1969
- Chad : (in 1969, Operations Pout, Manta, Sparrowhawk): 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.
- French Territory of the Afars and the Issas: (1976 Loyada, 1992 Operation Iskoutir).
- Zaire: 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.
- Lebanon: (1982 part of the Multinational Force in Lebanon and then U.N.I.F.I.L ) along with the 31e Brigade which included the Operational Group of the Foreign Legion.
- Kuwait: (Commando Parachute Group GCP, 1990-1991 Operation Desert storm part of Opération Daguet)
- Rwanda: (1990, 1992, Operation Noroit)
- Gabon: (1990, Operation Shark)
- 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: The regiment partook in various operations from 1960 to 1980, OMLT 2008, GTIA Altor 2010, Red SGTIA 2011 and Operation PAMIR. 2e REP deployed to Afghanistan from January to July 2010, as part of Task Force "Altor". Two Legionnaires, Pole Konrad Rygiel from 2e R.E.P G.C.P, Slovakian Robert Hutnik from the regiment were killed in action.
- Mali: A reinforced company of the 2e REP was parachuted north of Timbuktu on January the 28th, 2013.
"Sharping up" for 2e R.E.P takes 12 months of physical, mental and psychological tests across all terrain and weather conditions including special operations training.
2e R.E.P is the only regiment of the 11th Parachute Brigade which trains their 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.
The regiment is composed of around 1140 men organized into 9 companies and a reserve unit of 60 men.
- 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 (pathfinder (SRR), anti-tank (SAC), long range sniper (STE), and airborne commando (GCP) sections)
- 1re 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 CIE - 5th Company (specialises in Desert warfare) ( 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)
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.
Except for the Legionnaires of the 1er 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 insignia of the Foreign Legion Paratroopers of France 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.
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,
Nous sommes fiers d'appartenir
Au 2e REP.
The regimental colors are decorated with:
- Croix de guerre des théâtres d'opérations extérieures 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.
- Fourragère with:
- ruban colors of the Légion d'honneur, only two regiments (2e R.E.P & 1er R.C.P) earned this fourragère for participating in military campaigns in Indochina. The 2e REP has received a second fourragère Valeur Militaire in July 2013
- Cross for Military Valour with 4 palms for the following citations:
- Fourragère with:
Croix de la Valeur militaire
Croix de guerre des théâtres d'opérations extérieures
Fourragère with color ruban of the Legion of Honor
Company, Battalion & Regimental Commanders
Para Company of the 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment, Para Co. du 3e REI (1948-1949)
Compagnie Parachutiste du 3e Régiment Etranger d'Infanterie Tenure (1948-1949)
1st Foreign Parachute Battalion, 1er BEP (1948-1955) - I,II,III Formations -
1er Bataillon Etranger de Parachutistes Tenure ( 1948 - 1955 )
3rd Foreign Parachute Battalion, 3e BEP (1948-1955) - I, II, III, IV Formations -
3e Bataillon Etranger de Parachutistes Tenure ( 1948- 1955 )
1st Foreign Parachute Regiment, 1er REP (1955-1961)
1er Régiment Etranger de Parachutistes Tenure (1955-1961)
2nd Foreign Parachute Battalion, 2e BEP (1948-1955) - I, II, III, IV, V Formations -
2e Bataillon Etranger de Parachutistes Tenure ( 1948 - 1955 )
2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment, 2e REP (1955-present)
2e Régiment étranger de parachutistes Tenure ( 1955 - 1975 )
Tenure ( 1975 - 1995 )
Tenure ( 1995–present )
Notable Officers, Sous-Officiers and Legionnaires
2 REP sea-cloud
2e REP mortar team in action during the Battle of Kolwezi, 1978.
2e REP paratroopers roping from a Puma over Calvi.
Camp Raffalli, home to the 2e REP, as viewed from the water tower.
2e REP paratroopers jumping over Calvi Drop Zone.
2e REP paratroopers landing on Calvi Drop Zone during a training course.
2e REP paratroopers jumping from a C-160.
- Airborne Battalions and Regiments of France
- 3rd Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment
- 10th Parachute Division (France)
- 25th Parachute Division (France)
- 11th Parachute Division (France)
- Peter J. Ortiz
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- Official Website of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment, History of the 2e REP, the 3rd Foreign Parachute Battalion 3e Bataillon Etranger de Parachutistes"
- Official Website of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment, History of the 2e REP, the 3rd Foreign Parachute Battalion 3e Bataillon Etranger de Parachutiste"
- Official Website of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment, History of the 2e REP, the 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment 1er Régiment Etranger de Parachutiste
- Official Website of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment, History of the 2e REP, the 1st Foreign Paratrooper Regiment 1er Régiment Etranger de Parachutiste
- Official Website of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment, History of the 2e REP, 2nd Foreign Paratrooper Battalion,2e Bataillon Etranger de Parachutistes
- Official Website of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment, History of the 2e REP, 2nd Foreign Parachute Battalion,2e Bataillon Etranger de Parachutistes
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- "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.
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- "La 5e compagnie de combat est née". Foreign Legion. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
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- "6e Compagnie – La réserve du régiment". Foreign Legion. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
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- 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
- Official Website of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment, Traditions, Chant du 2e REP
- "La 11e BP décorée pour son engagement en Afghanistan".
- circulaire n°|13913/SDBC/DECO créant une fourragère à la couleur croix de la Valeur militaire du 28 novembre 2011
- Camerone is a Battle Honour shared by all Foreign Legion Regiments, no matter when it was formed.
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- Official website - 2e Régiment étranger de parachutistes
- 2eREP veterans forum
- History and images - 2e REP History