1976: Training units left Corsica for Castelnaudary

On October 11, 1976, training units of the French Foreign Legion left Corsica, where they had been stationed since July 1962. The units moved to continental France to be based in Castelnaudary at the end of November 1976. They have been based in “Castel” (a nickname by legionnaires) till present. See some pictures and more information.

Training units of the French Foreign Legion were based on the island of Corsica until October 1976. They were called Foreign Legion Training Group (Groupement d’instruction de la Légion étrangère, GILE), being composed of five training companies, including two volunteer companies – the 1st and 2nd. The 1st Volunteer company was based in Bonifacio (southern Corsica) in the Montlaur citadel, the then home of 2e RE. The 2nd Volunteer company was based in the citadel of Corte (northern Corsica).

On October 11, 1976, both volunteers units left Corsica for continental France. The 1st company was temporarily placed in the Foreign Legion Invalid Institution at Puyloubier. The 2nd company was temporarily placed in the headquarters of 1er REC in Orange, in place of the 4th Squadron which departed to Corte in the same time. Since November 23, legionnaires of the companies had been entering Castelnaudary for Quartier Lapasset (also Caserne Lapasset), the old barracks of Mobilization Center 143 in the town center. On December 11, 1976, the first Foreign Legion parade was organized for population of Castelnaudary.

On September 01, 1977, GILE became the Foreign Legion Training Regiment (RILE). On June 01, 1980, RILE became the 4th Foreign Regiment (4e RE).

Since July 1986, training units of the French Foreign Legion have been based in the new headquarters Capitaine Danjou of 4e RE, located in the outskirts of Castelnaudary.

GILE in Bonifacio in the Montlaur citadel
Montlaur citadel in Bonifacio, the home to the 1st Volunteer Company of GILE
Photo source: Legio Patria Nostra 

GILE in Corte in the Citadel
The citadel of Corte (on top), the home to the 2nd Volunteer Company of GILE
GILE is leaving Corsica
GILE leaving Corsica (October 11, 1976)
2nd Volunteer company of GILE is travelling to Orange
2nd Volunteer Company of GILE on the road to Orange (October 1976)
1st Volunteer company of GILE is travelling to Puyloubier
1st Volunteer Company of GILE on the road to Puyloubier (October 1976)
1st Volunteer company of GILE in Puyloubier
1st Volunteer Company of GILE in Puyloubier, during a ceremony (November 1976)
GILE parading in Castelnaudary in December 1976
GILE – the Foreign Legion’s first parade in Castelnaudary (December 11, 1976)
GILE headquarters in Castelnaudary in December 1976
Crowd of people in front of the new home of GILE in Castelnaudary (December 11, 1976)
GILE headquarters in Castelnaudary in December 1976
New home of GILE, the old military barracks in Castelnaudary (December 1976)
Quartier Lapasset
New entrance of Quartier Lapasset (or Caserne Lapasset)
Quartier Lapasset
Quartier Lapasset of 4e RE

 

The Citadel of Corte. Young legionnaires from the 2nd Volunteer Company of GILE during an instruction in 1972.

 

Information & images source: Kepi blanc magazines

 

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4e REI: History of the Regiment of Morocco
Foreign Legion in a 1978 documentary
French Foreign Legion 1949 documentary
History of the French Foreign Legion in pictures