1er REC: 2022 Operation Daman

In July 2022, Colonel Henri Leinekugel Le Cocq and an important part of his 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment (1er REC) arrived in Lebanon in the Middle East. On the 14th, the colonel took over the command of the 43rd mandate of France’s Force Commander Reserve (FCR). The FCR, consisting of about 700 soldiers, is a main reserve force of the UNIFIL, a United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission to confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.

The 1er REC returned to Lebanon after four years. Part of the French Operation Daman, the cavalry legionnaires and a Finnish infantry company (assigned to France’s FCR contingent) are ready to intervene rapidly for the benefit of all foreign contingents (from 46 countries in 2022) stationed throughout the UNIFIL area of action in Southern Lebanon. French elements are also part of the UNIFIL HQ staff, as well as they work for the intelligence detachments, the embassy reinforcement and the theater joint information and command systems command. All these tasks are carried out jointly with the Lebanese Armed Forces along the Israel-Lebanon border. Each French mandate is planned for four months.

The 1er REC’s 4th Squadron became famous in this country back in 1925, in the battle in Rashaya, during the Great Syrian Revolt. The Legion cavalrymen returned to the country in 1982, as part of the Multinational Force in Lebanon (dissolved in 1984 and replaced by the UNIFIL since then), the very first UN mission for the Legion. Learn more here: 1er REC’s History 1921-2022.

1er REC - Lebanon - 2022 - Colonel Leinekugel Le Cocq - Operation Daman
Colonel Leinekugel Le Cocq, head of the 1er REC, and his men during the change of command ceremony at Camp Dayr Kifa in Southern Lebanon, July 14, 2022. Note the blue beret and the blue scarf of their UN parade uniform.
1er REC - Lebanon - 2022 - VBL - Operation Daman
VBL cars of the 1er REC parade at Camp Dayr Kifa, July 14, 2022.
1er REC - Lebanon - 2022 - Colonel Leinekugel Le Cocq - Operation Daman
Colonel Leinekugel Le Cocq, in front of the banner of his 1er REC’s Task Force Centurion in Lebanon. The latter, together with the Finnish infantrymen, forms the main force of the UNIFIL’s French contingent.
1er REC - Lebanon - 2022 - exercise - Operation Daman
Mass casualty emergency response training for the 1er REC legionnaires in Lebanon, late July, 2022.
1er REC - Lebanon - 2022 - exercise - Operation Daman
A five-day joint exercise for the legionnaires and Lebanese soldiers, early August, 2022.

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