2e REG: 2021 Mine detection in Mali

In August 2021, a route clearance group of legionnaires from the French Foreign Legion’s 2nd Foreign Engineer Regiment (2e REG) was involved in a mine detection mission in Mali, West Africa, in support of a French military logistics convoy. One of them, a 21-year-old legionnaire named Oleksandr, from Eastern Europe, detected an explosive device set there by local terrorists.

The sappers from the engineer group carried out the route clearance mission in support of Operation Barkhane, a French counter-terrorism operation in the Sahel region of Africa. The mission took place some 20 miles (32 km) from the village of In Delimane in Mali.

Legionnaire Oleksandr, along with his partner, combed the designated area for a distance of 1,100 yards (1 km). It was his first overseas deployment. Equipped with his High Magnetic Power Detector (DHPM), he checked every corner of the road. The DHPM beeped, revealing an abnormal metal density. Under a thin layer of hardened earth was a black plastic bag. The threat was quickly confirmed: the bag contained a 24-pound explosive device (12 kg).

An infantry platoon took a position in support of the engineer group while a team of EOD deminers (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) deflected the convoy into a safe area located 150 yards aside. The wooded environment around the explosive device was hostile. Legionnaire Oleksandr and his group conducted a reconnaissance to look for a possible enemy hideout. Thereafter, the improvised explosive device was carefully pulled away and neutralized.

The logistics convoy could resume its progression. By his seriousness and knowing well his job, this legionnaire had made it possible to prevent an enemy attack.

Combat engineers in action in Mali, August 2021:

2e REG: 2021 Mine detection in Mali

2e REG: 2021 Mine detection in Mali


Information & Image source: Ministère des Armées

Related posts:
2e REG: Legionnaire killed during firing exercise
Operation Barkhane: 13 French soldiers died, including a legionnaire
2e REG: Captain Ulm died in service
2e REG: 20 years ago, the youngest regiment of the Foreign Legion was born