|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||Foreign French Airborne Regiment|
• Air Assault
• Urban Warfare (1e CIE)
• Mountain warfare (2e CIE)
• Amphibious warfare (3e CIE)
• Sniping and Demolitions (4e CIE)
|Part of||11th Parachute Brigade|
|Garrison/HQ||Calvi, Corsica France|
|Nickname(s)||The 2e REP|
|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)
|Colonel Benoît Desmeulles|
Paul Arnaud de Foïard
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.|
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 and part of the spearhead of the French rapid reaction force.
When the idea of paratroopers imposed a visit on 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 sytle would surface. The glory of scarifice and the nostalgia of a lost cause would entertain the myth.
The Parachute Company of the 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment, (Para Co.3e REI) was created on April 1, 1948. The command of the Para company of the 3e REI was entrusted to a young 23-year-old veteran, Legion lieutenant Jacques Morin as Regimental Commander or "Chef de Corps" of the Para Co. of the 3e REI from April 31, 1948 to May 31, 1949. Volunteers filled in the ranks from the foreign regiments present in 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/1e RCP). Stationed at Hanoi, the Para company engaged immediately and partake 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 is 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 Paratrooper Battalion, (1e BEP) which just embarked in Indochina.
The 1st Foreign Parachute Battalion, (1e BEP, I formation) was created on July 1, 1948 at Khamisis, in Algeria. The 1e BEP embarks in Indochina on November 12 and is engaged in combat operations in the Tonkin. On June 1, 1949, the Para Co. 3e REI completed its count. On November 17, 1950; the 1e BEP (1e BEP, I Formation) jumps on That Khé and scarifices itself in Coc Xa to protect the unfolding of the RC4 in a traditional Foreign Legion battlefield. Heading and leading tradition was 1e BEP battalion commander Chef de Corps du 1e BEP, Commandant Pierre Segrétain.
The battalion dissolved on December 31, 1950; is reconstituted on March 1, 1951 (1e BEP, II formation) and is seen participating excessively in combat operations at Cho Ben, on the black river and at Annam. On November 21, 1953; the reconstituted 1e BEP is parachuted on Dien Bien Phu. In this gigantic battle, the reconstituted (1e BEP, II formation) 1e BEP counts 575 killed and missing for the second time in a traditional Foreign Legion battlefield. Amongst the fatal casualties feature Lieutenants Dumont, Boisbouvier and de Stabenrath, killed in between April 1 and May 13 as well as Sergent-Chef Grimault, killed on March 30. Reconsituted for the third time (1e BEP, III formation) on May 19, 1954, the 1e BEP leaves Indochina on February 8, 1955. The 1e BEP totals 5 citations at the orders of the armed forces and the fourragère of the colors of the Médaille militaire. The 1st Foreign Parachute Battalion (1e BEP, III Formation) becomes the 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment (1e REP) in Algeria on September 1, 1955.
Before becoming the 3rd Foreign Parachute Regiment, the 3rd Foreign Paratrooper Battalion was created on April 1949 at Mascara. The 7th combat company of paratrooper training of the 1st Foreign rejoins Sétif 7 months later, starting November 15, 1949, to become officially the 3rd Foreign Paratrooper Battalion. The mission of the 3e BEP was to instruct and form the legionnaires destined to relieve the 1e BEP and 2e BEP. While mainly formed and created to instruct the Legionnaires, the 3rd Foreign Paratrooper Batallion participates in operations of maintaining order in Tunisia from January to June 1952.
On May 4, 1954; when struggle becomes of a rage at Dien Bien Phu, the 3e BEP makes and clears way to Indochina. On May 25, 1954, the battalion is at Haïphong. On June 1, the count of the men forming the 3e BEP is transferred to the 2e BEP during the reconstitution of the later. The 3e BEP merges with the injured of annihilated foreign battalions while in the meantime, owing to numerous volunteers, the 3e BEP is seen reconstituted at Sétif. Back to Algeria, the three foreign paratrooper battalions (1e BEP, 2e BEP, 3e BEP) will be seen filling the ranks of the regiment. On September 1, 1955, the 3e BEP becomes the 3rd Foreign Paratrooper Regiment. Based at Batna, the regiment becomes opeational but then is dissolved on December 1, 1955; the men consituting the regiment are merged with the 2nd Foreign Parachute Battalion, (2e BEP) to form a new corps, the 2nd Foreign Paratroooper Regiment.
The insignia of the 3rd Foreign Paratropper Battalion was created in 1950 by Captain Darmuzai, battalion commander Chef de Bataillon, CBA of the 3e BEP.
Disembarked in Algeria on February 25, 1955, the 1st Foreign Paratrooper Battalion becomes the 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment on September 1, 1955. Based at Zéralda, the regiment is compromised of one command and support company, one assault company and three combat companies. Quite quickly, operations commence : Nementchas, Tunisian and Moroccan frontiers, Ouarsenis and de Suez. On November 6, 1956; the regiment debarks at Port-Fouad and operates quickly along the canal. The progession of the regiment is halted by the ceasefire and the regiment is quick to make way top operate around the mountains of Algeria by December 10.
Following the petrol route in the Sahara, combat operations engage the regiment non-stop in the region of Guelma. The magnificant results are paid and earned by the death of superior French regimental commander Chef de Corps Legion Lieutenant Colonel Pierre Paul Jeanpierre; the legendary Para Legionnaire's Legionnaire leading; who fell to the ennemy on May 28, 1958 along with a couple of hundred legionnaires in a traditional Foreign Legion battlefield. In 1959, action around the mountains retake course in operations "Jumelles", "Cigales" and "Ariege" in the Aurès, ending in Kabylie. Lory representation of paratooper legionniares; the reputation of the 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment is tarnished with the unfortunate events of the General's Putsch. The regiment is dissolved on April 30, 1961 at Thiersville.
Since creation, the 1st Foreign Paratrooper Regiment retakes the insignia of the 1st Foreign Paratrooper Battalion (1e BEP), with a new inscription "1e REP".
The 2nd Foreign Parachute Battalion was created on October 1, 1948 by execution of a ministerial prescription dating to March 27, 1948. The combat companies of the 2e BEP were constituted by the 4e DBLE in Morocco and the depot of the foreign regiments in Sidi-bel-Abbès, were assigned by the EDAP/25. Compromised of one command company and three combat companies type fusiliers-voltigeurs, the battalion makes and clears way to Oran on January 19, 1949, destined for Indochina. Disembarked in Saïgon on February 9, the battalion is directed to Kep (Cambodia) by land route. On November 1949, the battalion takes base in Quan Thé.
The first combat engagements of the 2e BEP have for theatre of operations, Cambodia, Cochinchine and Annam. On October 1950, the 2e BEP is summoned to Tonkin. Reinforced by a heavy mortars company, the battalion engages in all military operations in the Delta, in Thaï lands, Mékong and the plains of Jarres. The impressive series of combat enagements are 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 magnificant epoque, the 2e BEP makes and clears 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", lead by a rare determination during the night of the 22 and 23 of April; the 2e BEP and 1e BEP merge to form a single foreign marching battalion. On May 7, the foreign marching battalion is dissolved and the 2e BEP is recrated by members of the 3e BEP. On June 1, 1954, the 2e BEP leaves Asia on November 1, 1955. The colors of the battalion are 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 BEP rises to 1500 Legion officers, sous-officiers and Legionnaires killed along with their "chef de corps", Legion commandant Barthélémy Rémy Raffali leading and heading a traditional Foreign Legion battlefield. Returned to Algeria, the 2nd Foreign Parachute Battalion (2e BEP) becomes the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment on December 1, 1955.
2e REP global campaign history include but not all of :
On December 1, 1955, the 2nd Foreign Parachute Battalion, 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 Algerian 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-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.
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.
Djibouti (1976 Loyada, 1992 Operation Iskoutir).
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.
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 REP GCP, Slovakian Robert Hutnik from the regiment were killed in action.
"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.
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 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. While the french and foreign parachute brevet is the same amongst french and foreign units, the Legion Parachute Moniteur Brevet, Legion Commando Parachute Brevet, and Legion Instructor Moniteur Brevet of Chuteur Opérationnel are different than the French Armed Forces and centered by the flag of the French Foreign Legion.
The beret 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.
Chant de Marche : La Légion marche featuring:
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:
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) and the olive colors of the Médaille militaire for the ensemble of the four conferred citations.
Tenure ( 1975 - 1995 )
Tenure ( 1995–present )
2ème REP mortar team in action during the Battle of Kolwezi, 1978.
2ème REP paratroopers roping from a Puma over Calvi.
Camp Raffalli, home to the 2ème REP, as viewed from the water tower.
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.