History of the 1st Foreign Engineer Regiment

The 1st Foreign Engineer Regiment (1er REG) started its history in 1984, under the title of 6e REG. The 6e REG became the first engineering regiment established within the French Foreign Legion. In 1999, the 6e REG was retitled as the 1er REG, since the second engineering regiment was established simultaneously. The 1er REG, during its history, participated in several military operations and conflicts. For example – Operation Epervier, Gulf War, Operation Oryx, ex-Yugoslavia, War in Afghanistan, Operation Serval or Operation Sangaris. 1er REG is also known for its amphibious commando group – PCG (ex-DINOPS) – consisting of parachute trained frogmen, combat divers, being specialized in amphibious raids and tactics.

For current information about the regiment see 1st Foreign Engineer Regiment

1er Régiment Étranger de Génie - 1er REG - 1 REG - 1st Foreign Engineer Regiment - History

 

CRTRLE – Compagnie Renforcée de Travaux Routiers: 1978 – 1984

1978:
Foreign Legion Reinforced Road Building Company (Compagnie Renforcée de Travaux Routiers de la Légion Étrangère, CRTRLE)
– on August 2, CRTRLE was established
– it was assigned to the 1er RE (the headquarters of the Foreign Legion)
– Captain Aubard became the first company commander
– CRTRLE received the insignia and flag of 1st Sappers-Pioneers Company (1re Compagnie de Sapeurs Pionniers, CSP)
– CSP was a Legion’s long-time disbanded engineering unit (active in 1922-1940), which also belonged to 1er RE

– the main task of CRTRLE was to replace the 61 BMGL at Camp de Canjuers
– at that time, it was the largest military camp in Western Europe

– in September, CRTRLE was based at Camp de Canjeurs

1978 – 1984:
– CRTRLE became the largest company of the Foreign Legion
– it was also said to be the largest company of the French Army
– it consisted of 7 platoons (while a common company in France was comprised of 4 platoons)
– CRTRLE was composed of around 240 cadres and legionnaires
– they were equipped with 300 engineering engines and vehicles

– the main task of CRTRLE was to build roads
– another task was to keep them safe and passable

– later, CRTRLE also participated in multi-helipad construction
– it also took part in road building at other military camps

1984:
– on June 30, CRTRLE was officially disbanded

– its legionnaires formed the base of the new engineering regiment

 

CRTRLE - Compagnie Renforcée de Travaux Routiers de la Légion Étrangère - Compagnie Renforcée de Travaux Routiers - Insigne - Insignia
The insignia of CRTRLE, adopted from the 1st Sappers-Pioneers Company
(CSP, 1922-1940)
CRTRLE - Compagnie Renforcée de Travaux Routiers de la Légion Étrangère - Compagnie Renforcée de Travaux Routiers - Canjuers - 1980
Legionnaires from CRTRLE during road building (1980)
CRTRLE - Compagnie Renforcée de Travaux Routiers de la Légion Étrangère - Compagnie Renforcée de Travaux Routiers - 1981
CRTRLE, supported by AMX 10 P tracked vehicles, during an exercise (March 1981)
CRTRLE - Compagnie Renforcée de Travaux Routiers de la Légion Étrangère - Compagnie Renforcée de Travaux Routiers - Aubagne - Camerone - 1983
CRTRLE parading in Aubagne on Camerone Day (April 30, 1983)
CRTRLE - Compagnie Renforcée de Travaux Routiers de la Légion Étrangère - Compagnie Renforcée de Travaux Routiers - Canjuers - 1979
Several membres (mostly cadres) of CRTRLE in their HQ

 

6th Foreign Engineer Regiment: 1984-1999

1984:
6th Foreign Engineer Regiment (6e Régiment Étranger de Génie, 6e REG)
– on July 1, 6e REG was established
– it became the first engineer regiment of the Legion in its history
– 6e REG was based at Quartier Général Rollet, Laudun
– Laudun is a town in southern France
– Colonel Degre took the command
– 6e REG adopted its symbols, history and traditions from 6e REI
– 6e REI was a legendary regiment, disbanded in 1955

– the new 6e REG consisted of legionnaires from disbanded CRTRLE
– the unit also received fresh legionnaires having finished their basic training
– some engineering cadres-specialists came from 7e RG
7th Engineer Regiment (7e RG) was a French regular army unit

– 6e REG would to become a professional engineer regiment
– it had to provide all military engineering services

– in October, 6e REG received its flag

1986 – 1987:
Underwater Operation Intervention Detachment (Détachement d’Intervention Nautique Opérationnel Subaquatique, DINOPS)
– within the 6e REG, a commando group of parachute trained frogmen was established
– it became the DINOPS
– DINOPS members were trained in amphibious offensive intervention engineering tactics

1987:
Operation Epervier in Chad
– 6e REG participated in

1988:
– first legionnaire of 6e REG died during a military operation
– on January 14, Senior-sergeant S. Panic was killed by an explosion
– the accident took place in Chad

1989:
Operation Salam in Pakistan

1990:
Gulf War (Operation Daguet)
– Iraq and Kuwait, September 1990 – February 1991
– in September, 2nd Company of 6e REG left France for Saudi Arabia
– in December, the rest of the regiment joined Operation Daguet

– the whole 6e REG participated in the operation
1er REC and 2e REI, both in complet, also took part in

1991:
– in May, Gulf War ended
– 6e REG returned in France

1992 – 1993:
– humanitarian mission in Cambodia

Operation Restore Hope (Operation Oryx) in Somalia
3rd Compagny of 6e REG was involved in the operation
– also legionnaires from 2e REP and 13e DBLE took part in

1994:
Operation Turquoise in Rwanda

1995 – 1996:
– mission in Bosnia, ex-Yugoslavia

1997:
– Central African Republic

1999:
– Kosovo, ex-Yugoslavia

 

6e REG - 6 REG - 6th REG - insigne - insignia
The insignia of 6e REG in 1984, with more engineer details, and in 1994, a simplyfied version becoming more “Legion-like” and “6e REI-like”
6e REG - 6 REG - 6th REG - Operation Epervier - Chad - 1987
Legionnaires-combat engineers of 6e REG in Chad, during Operation Epervier (1987)
6e REG - 6 REG - 6th REG - Operation Epervier - Chad - 1987
A legionnaire of 6e REG, during Operation Epervier, with an unexploded Libyan bomb (1987)
6e REG - 6 REG - 6th REG - Operation Daguet - Gulf War - 1991
Legionnaires of 6e REG demining during Operation Daguet (Gulf War) (1991)
6e REG - 6 REG - 6th REG - Operation Oryx - Somalia - 1993
Legionnaires of 6e REG, during Operation Oryx in Somalia (1993)
6e REG - 6 REG - 6th REG - ex-Yugoslavia - 1995
Legionnaires of 6e REG in ex-Yugoslavia (1995)
6e REG - 6 REG - 6th REG - Bosnia - 1998
Legionnaires of 6e REG in Bosnia, ex-Yugoslavia (1998)

 

1st Foreign Engineer Regiment

1999:
1st Foreign Engineer Regiment (1er Régiment Étranger de Génie, 1er REG)
– on July 1, 6e REG became the 1er REG

– at the same time, 2nd Foreign Engineer Regiment (2e Régiment Étranger de Génie, 2e REG) was established

– 1er REG was still stationed at Laudun
– it continued in fulfilling the same engineering tasks as 6e REG did

2001:
– mission in Macedonia, ex-Yugoslavia

2001 – 2010:
War in Afghanistan
– legionnaires of 1er REG were Legion’s first elements being involved in the war
– 1er REG was among first French units being sent to Afghanistan

2004 – 2015:
Operation Licorne in Ivory Coast

2005:
– humanitarian mission in Indonesia (due to the tsunami of 2004)

2006:
Operation Baliste in Lebanon

– in 2006, DINOPS changed their designation
– they became the Engineer Combat Divers (Plongeurs de Combat du Génie, PCG)

2012:
Operation Tamour in Jordan, on the Syrian border

2013 – 2014:
Operation Serval (Operation Berkane since July 2014) in Mali

2014:
Operation Sangaris in the Central African Republic

 

1er REG - 1 REG - 1st REG - insigne - insignia
The insignia of 1er REG, created in 1999
1er REG - 1 REG - 1st REG - Kosovo - 2000
Building a bridge by engineering legionnaires of 1er REG in Kosovo (2000)
1er REG - 1 REG - 1st REG - Afghanistan - 2001
Legionnaires of 1er REG providing mine clearance in Afghanistan (December 2001)
1er REG - 1 REG - 1st REG - Afghanistan
Legionnaires of 1er REG in Afghanistan
1er REG - 1 REG - 1st REG - Indonesia - 2004
Legionnaires of 1er REG in Indonesia (2004)
1er REG - 1 REG - 1st REG - Ivory Coast - 2009
1er REG legionnaires build a bridge in Ivory Coast (2009)
1er REG - 1 REG - 1st REG - French Polynesia - 2013
1er REG providing public service support in French Polynesia (2013)
1er REG - 1 REG - 1st REG - Ivory Coast - 2013
Engineers of 1er REG ready to road building in Ivory Coast (2013)
1er REG - 1 REG - 1st REG - Ivory Coast - 2013
Mine clearing by legionnaires of 1er REG, during Operation Serval in Mali (2013)
1er REG - 1 REG - 1st REG - Operation Sangaris - Central African Republic - 2014
Preparing the site for destruction of explosives by legionnaires of 1er REG, during Operation Sangaris in the Central African Republic (2014)
1er REG - 1 REG - 1st REG - Laudun - Quartier - Rollet
Quartier Général Rollet. The headquarters of 1er REG in Laudun
1er REG - 1 REG - 1st REG - PCG - DINOPS
Frogmen of PCG (ex-DINOPS) from 1er REG

 

For current information about the regiment see 1st Foreign Engineer Regiment

 

Images source:
1er REG official website
Képi blanc magazines
Ecpad.fr


 

Information source:
Képi blanc magazines
Ecpad.fr (French Army media service)
Insignes Legion (FFL insignia & badges)

 
See also:
61st Engineer-Legion Mixed Battalion

 
Foreign Legion’s disbanded regiments:
1st Foreign Parachute Regiment
3rd Foreign Parachute Regiment
2nd Foreign Cavalry Regiment
4th Foreign Infantry Regiment
5th Foreign Regiment
6th Foreign Infantry Regiment

 

The page was updated on December 18, 2014.

 

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