Exercise Baccarat 2021

Between October 15 and 21, a full-scale multinational Exercise Baccarat 2021 occurred in Southern France. Besides the Foreign Legion units, U.S. Marines and Spanish soldiers also participated.

The high-intensity combat exercise has been organized since 2017 by the French Army’s 4th Air Assault Brigade (4e BAC). It is aimed at adaptation to modern air assault and its perfection.

The brigade-level exercise Baccarat 21 mobilized some 1,300 French, American, and Spanish soldiers from 15 units to train their air assault know-how. Air assault is basically the movement of ground-based military forces by helicopters to directly engage enemy forces behind enemy lines.

On the ground, the Foreign Legion was represented by legionnaires from the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment (2e REI) and the 1st Foreign Engineer Regiment (1er REG). Part of the exercise Baccarat 2019, the 13e DBLE was involved in this year’s military exercise indirectly, by granting their training camp at Larzac to the operational headquarters of the 4e BAC. From there, all operations of the exercise were coordinated.

Alongside the 2e REI legionnaires, a U.S. detachment took part in the exercise, comprising elements of the 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, based in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The US Marines detachment was assigned to the 2e REI and spent three weeks with legionnaires in France, including living and training within their barracks in Nimes.

Also this year, for the third time, the Spanish Army Airmobile Force (FAMET) joined the exercise. Its 38 soldiers, including 12 pilots, reinforced the forces. The FAMET group was equipped with four helicopters: 2 Tigers, 1 Cougar and a Super Puma.

Baccarat 2021 took place in Southern France, on a battlefield covering three departments – Aveyron, Lozère and Cantal. That sector represented a rectangle 50 miles (80 km) wide and 75 miles (120 km) deep.

As always during such exercises in France, the operations and assaults were conducted in real conditions. That means, for example, firefights in a village in the early morning, with firearm shootings and grenade throwing in the streets, as an unusual wake-up call for the local civil population.

U.S. Marines: Exercise Baccarat 2021
Click on the FB icon to see all photos:



2e REI: Exercise Baccarat 2021
Click on the FB icon to see all photos:





Related posts:
2e REI: 2021 El Moungar
2e REI: 1st Company in the Indian Ocean
2e REI: 2021 Ivory Coast and Djibouti
2e REI: 750 legionnaires to deploy overseas