2e REP: 2023 Operational jump in Niger

On May 15, 2023, a detachment of the famous 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment (2e REP), the only airborne unit of the French Foreign Legion, conducted a night operational jump in Niger, a landlocked country in West Africa and a former French colony. The operation was carried out alongside Nigerien troops and aimed at seizing a military base of the Saharan jihadists.

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2e REP legionnaires with their Nigerien counterparts at the military airport of Niamey, Niger’s capital, in mid-May 2023.
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2e REP legionnaires on board of the C-130 Hercules aircraft, ready for the night combat jump, May 15, 2023.

Several dozen legionnaires participated in the operation that took place within an enemy territory in the Liptako region, in the southwestern part of Niger (don’t confuse with Nigeria). They jumped at night over a two-mile-long sand-covered drop zone and then moved some 3.5 miles (5 km) to successfully seize their objective (previously abandoned by the jihadists). A week later, the legionnaires returned to Corsica.

This was another night combat jump for the 2e REP men, after one over the Salvador Pass in the same country in 2015, and the operational jump over Timbuktu in neighboring Mali in 2013. The latter was, by the way, the French Army’s first large-scale combat jump conducted since the 1978 Battle of Kolwezi. This fact only underscores the prestige of the Legion paratroopers.

The airborne operation in Niger was part of France’s new strategy in Africa (now called “Africa differently,” L’Afrique autrement), after the appearance of geopolitical competition in the form of a mercenary group from Russia. The latter now serves governments of several former French colonies, causing the forced departure of the French troops from these countries.

To learn more about the May 2023 airborne operation in Niger and France’s current military situation in Africa, follow the English article on France24, a French state-owned international news television network:
In Niger, France tests out new strategy for Africa operation

Related posts:
2e REP: 2015 Operation Aghrab in Niger
2e REP: Great photos of legionnaires in the Sahara of Niger
2e REP: 2023 Exercise Caillaud
2e REP: A South African fighting in Mali