1er REC: 2021 Commando Training Center

In late May 2021, the 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment (1er REC), the only cavalry unit currently serving within the French Foreign Legion, opened its new commando training center. The first course took place there between May 16 and 28. See the images.

The Commando Training and Hardening Center (Centre d’Instruction et d’Aguerrissement Commando, CIAC) was created as part of the practice of “relentless” hardening and training of the “warrior spirit” desired by the current Chief of the French Army, General Burkhard, a former officer with the Foreign Legion (1989-2002 and 2008-2010).

The new training center should be a key element of the regiment’s operational preparation. It consists of two parts. The first part, an amphibious one, is placed at calanque (a narrow) of Port-Miou in Cassis, a commune situated only a few miles south of the Carpiagne Camp, the new military base of the 1er REC east of Marseille. The second part, with obstacle tracks, is placed at Fort Montrose, a military installation since 1886. Located south of Marseille, the regiment took it over in 2019.

The CIAC is led by Lieutenant Olivier Gagean, the sports officer of the regiment. The first “commando training” course was conducted there by 30 officers and legionnaires of the Royal Etranger between May 16 and 28. After a 10-day phase of acquiring basic know-how in the fields of commando crossing and combat, they were engaged in a 72-hour tactical know-how practice, including infiltration in a maritime environment and then on land at night, vertical crossing, combat, guerilla tactics and tactical withdrawal. Upon the course, the participants were the first to receive the CIAC 1er REC badge. The same day, May 28, the center was officially inaugurated by General Bechon, the head of the 6th Brigade the 1er REC is assigned to.

In 2022, an individual daring track will be built at Fort Montrose by the specialists of the national commando training center (CNEC) from Mont-Louis, the most famous French commando training center.

1er REC: 2019 Fort Montrose
1er REC legionnaires at Fort Montrose, 2019.
1er REC: 2021 Commando Training Center - CIAC
CIAC 1er REC’s Inaguration plaque, May 2021.
1er REC: 2021 Commando Training Center - CIAC
CIAC – Fort Montrose, May 2021.
1er REC: 2021 Commando Training Center - CIAC - General Bechon
General Bechon of the 6th Brigade awards a 1er REC legionnaire with the CIAC 1er REC badge, May 28, 2021.


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