History: 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment

Discover the history of the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment (2e REP), currently the only airborne unit of the French Foreign Legion. This well-known unit was organized in Algeria in late 1955. The regiment would actively participate in the Algerian War there until 1962, when the war was over and Algeria gained its independence. The 2e REP eventually left Algeria in 1967, as the last French airborne unit. It has been stationed in Corsica since then.

During the next decades, the 2e REP took part in several military operations and conflicts. Between the mid-1960s and mid-2010s, its men fought in Chad, Zaire, Iraq, ex-Yugoslavia, Ivory Coast, Afghanistan, Mali or Niger. They also deployed to Djibouti, Lebanon, Rwanda, Gabon, Somalia or the Central African Republic.

2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment - History - 2 REP - 2 BEP - L'histoire du 2e Régiment étranger de parachutistes

 

For current information about the 2e REP, click here: 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment

 
 

2e BEP: Algeria & French Indochina 1948 – 1955

The 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment took over the number, traditions and history of its predecessor fighting in Indochina, the famous 2e BEP (1948-55). To see the detailed history of the 2e BEP, follow this link: 2nd Foreign Parachute Battalion

 
 

2e REP: Algerian War between 1955 – 1962

1954 – 1955:
Algerian War started
– Algeria is a country situated in North Africa
– then Algeria was an integral part of France (1848-1962)
– since 1832, the Foreign Legion had been stationed there
– Algeria was seen as a homeland for the Legion
– its headquarters was based there, at Sidi Bel Abbes

– in 1954, local rebels intensified military actions
– these actions took part in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria
– countries under French control for decades
– the attacks were aimed at French forces stationed there
– also at French people living and working there
– in Algeria, the main rebel force was the FLN
– FLN stands for National Liberation Front
– besides, there were several less powerful groups
– later in 1955, rebel operations escalated into a regular conflict
– Algerian War started

 

2e REP: 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment in 1955

November 1955:
– November 18, an airborne unit landed in Algeria
2nd Foreign Parachute Battalion (2e BEP)
– a unit formed in Algeria in late 1948
– in early 1949, it was shipped to Southeast Asia
– to participate in the First Indochina War (1946-54)
– there, it became the most decorated French battalion
– back in Algeria, the battalion moved to Philippeville
– a town in northeastern Algeria (now called Skikda)
2e BEP would be dissolved there on November 30, 1955

December 1955:
2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment
2e Regiment Etranger de Parachutistes (2e REP)

2e REP was established on December 1, 1955
– formed with men coming from two dissolved units
– 2e BEP + 3e REP
– these two units consolidated to create the new regiment
– 2e BEP men constituted its 1st + 2nd Company
– 3e REP men constituted its 3rd + 4th Company
– 2e REP took over the 2e BEP’s traditions and history
– the regiment remained stationed at Philippeville
– based at Caserne de France, an old barracks
– parts of the regiment were based at other two places
– Caserne Mangin + Camp Pehau
Major Georges Masselot took command (par interim)
– the last commander of the dissolved 2e BEP

Change of Command
– December 10, a new commander was appointed
Lieutenant Colonel Alfred de Vismes
– Major Masselot became his deputy

– 2e REP’s mission was to maintain order in Algeria
– the companies were spreaded out across the region
– the men conducted patrols and searched rebels

– in December, operations in the Batna region
– 100 miles (160 km) south of Philippeville
– 1st + 3rd Company, 2e REP participated

– 2nd + 4th Company operated in the Philippeville region
– between Praxbourg and Dem El Begrat

 
2e REP’s composition in Algeria in December 1955:

  • Command – Lt Colonel de Vismes
  • Deputy commander – Major Masselot
  • HQ Company – Captain Brandon
  • 1st Company – Captain Perrier
  • 2nd Company – Lieutenant Mercé (later Captain Buonfils)
  • 3rd Company – Captain Borrel
  • 4th Company – Captain Allaire
  • Combat Support Company (CA) – Captain de Carvalho
  • Reconnaissance Squadron (ER) – Captain Laborde

– 2e REP was composed of 1,287 men
– 65 officers + 199 NCOs + 1,023 legionnaires

 

2e REP: 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment in 1956

January-February 1956:
– operations in the Batna and Philippeville regions

2e REP’s first killed legionnaire
– January 5, a skirmish at Djebel Fedjoudj
– close to Ain Zitoun, east of Batna
– 22 rebels were killed
– however, Sergeant Kuntz was also killed
– he belonged to the 1st Company
– the very first casualty of the 2e REP

– January 12, the whole 2e REP regrouped at Philippeville

– January 16, a skirmish with rebels
– in the Philippeville region
– 6 rebels were killed

March-May 1956:
– operations in the Aures mountains
– situated in the Batna region
– 1st + 2nd Company took part

– April 29-30, Operation Fath
– near Douar Ouled Fatma, in the Batna region
– 28 rebels were killed
– 3 legionnaires were also killed

June 1956:
25th Parachute Division
– June 1, 25e DP was established in Algeria
– led by General Sauvagnac
– 2e REP was assigned to the division

2e REP’s Regimental Flag
– June 5, 2e REP obtained the regimental flag

First Combat Jump
– June 11, 2e REP jumped over Tamentout
– between Setif and Djidjelli
– around 40 miles (60 km) west of Philippeville
– 2nd + 4th Company were involved (over 260 men)
– that day, 19 rebels were killed
– the first combat jump since Dien Bien Phu (April 1954)

– June 22, another combat jump
– over Oued Tamza
– in the Khenchela region, in the Aures mountains
– 1st + 3rd + 4th Company were involved
– during two days, 75 rebels were killed
– 2e REP’s second and last combat jump in the Algerian War

July-October 1956:
– operations across northeastern Algeria
– in the Constantine region
– in the Aures mountains
– in the Hodna mountains
– in the Collo region

November-December 1956:
2e REP deployed to Tebessa
– 2e REP deployed to the Tebessa region
– close to the Tunisia border
– the men would patrol in the Nementchas mountains
– the whole regiment would spend the winter there
– HQ was stationed at Tebessa
– 125 miles (200 km) south-east of Philippeville

– November 28-29, a large military operation
– in the Tebessa region
– several French regiments participated
– including the 2e REP
– 18 rebels were killed by the 2e REP

2e REP’s First officer killed
– December 18, a severe battle
– with an important rebel group of Cherif Mahmoud
– at Djebel Mezeraa, in the Tebessa region
– the group was annihilated
– 28 rebels were killed
– however, the regiment suffered heavy losses
Lieutenant Jean Mounier was killed
– the 2e REP’s very first officer killed in action
– 15 legionnaires were also killed
– 20 legionnaires were wounded

– December 22, clashes at Djebel Anoual
– in the Tebessa region
– 33 rebels were killed

 

– in Algeria in 1955-56, an officer + 37 legionnaires of the 2e REP were killed

 

2e REP - 2 REP - Insignia - insigne - 1955
The insignia of the 2e REP. The regiment adopted the original insignia of the 2e BEP, created in Cambodia in 1949. The insignia bears an Asian dragon representing French Indochina, with the wings symbolizing an airborne unit. It also bears the seven-flame grenade of the Legion and the Legion’s green & red colors.
Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1948 - Algeria
Algeria. Then integral part of France and a homeland to the Legion since the 1830s.
2e REP - 2 REP - Foreign Legion Etrangere - 1956 - Operations - Map
In 1956, the 2e REP conducted operations mainly around Philippeville, its garrison town or in the Constantine and Batna regions. In late 1956, the regiment deployed to Tebessa, to patrol the region bordering Tunisia. The legionnaires stayed there until April 1957.
2e REP - 2 REP - Philippeville - Caserne de France - 1956
Caserne de France. The barracks of the regiment situated in Philippeville, a mid-sized town and an important port city. In August 1955, the town saw a sad battle between French soldiers and rebels, who also massacred dozens of local French civilians and pro-French muslims. Because of that, French officials placed Foreign Legion paratroopers there to maintain order in the town (initially the 3e REP, 2e REP afterwards).
2e REP - 2 REP -  Philippeville - Caserne de France - Alfred de Vismes - Raymond Lalet - 1956
Lieutenant Colonel Alfred de Vismes (light dress, képi), the then commanding officer of the 2e REP, is reviewing the 2nd Company inside Caserne de France, early 1956. The company is presented by their commander (par interim), Lieutenant Raymond Lalet (right). Lieutenant Lalet would be killed the next year, in March 1957.
2e REP - 2 REP -  Philippeville - Escadron - Squadron - 1956
Reconnaissance Squadron (ER) of the 2e REP, early 1956. Like Combat Support Company, the unit was equipped with Jeeps. Note the non-camouflage uniform of these paratroopers. The unit might have been formed with ex-Squadron from 3e REP, using such uniforms.
2e REP - 2 REP - Masselot - Drapeau - Flag - 1956
Major Georges Masselot (left), the then deputy commander and the last commander of the 2e BEP, during the ceremony to obtain the regimental flag. Note the color guard being formed with NCOs (black kepis) only.
2e REP - 2 REP -  Foreign Legion Etrangere - Paratroopers - 1956
2e REP para-legionnaires ready to jump, 1956.
2e REP - 2 REP -  Foreign Legion Etrangere - Oued Zhour - drop zone - 1956
2e REP jumping over Oued Zhour, a drop zone located east of Philippeville, 1956.
2e REP - 2 REP -  Foreign Legion Etrangere - Tebessa - operation - 1956
2e REP men during a military operation in the Tebessa region, late 1956. During operations, Legion paratroopers were wearing green berets, instead of standard khaki-covered kepis. In late 1959, these berets would be adopted officially by the whole Legion.

 

2e REP: 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment in 1957

January-March 1957:
– 2e REP continued its operations in the Tebessa region
– also in the Souk Ahras sector (north of Tebessa)

– January 26, clashes at Djebel Troubia
– in the Tebessa region
– 15 rebels were killed

– February 12, an operation at Djebel Bou Gaffer
– in the Tebessa region
– at least 40 rebels were killed
Lieutenant Jean Mennesson was also killed

– March 1-2, clashes with rebels
– close to Guentis, south-west of Tebessa
– 75 rebels were killed or wounded

– March 6, a battle at Djebel Es Sif
– in the Tebessa region
– 42 rebels were killed

– March 18, Operation Echo
– at Djebel Mesloula, in the Tebessa region
– 20 rebels were killed
– 15 rebels were wounded

– March 29, clashes with rebels
– at Aghour el Kifene, in the Tebessa region
– 38 rebels were killed
Lieutenant Claude Brehier was also killed
Lieutenant Raymond Lalet was fatally wounded
– he died a month later

April 1957:
– April 1, a battle at Oued Abiod
– in the Batna region
– 25 rebels were killed

– April 7, 2e REP returned to Philippeville
– all companies were regrouped there

May-July 1957:
2e REP deployed to El Milia
– in May, 2e REP deployed to the El Milia region
– in the north of the Constantine region
– 30 miles (50 km) west of Philippeville
– operations in the El Milia region
– 2e REP was also patrolling the Collo range there

– in June, several operations
– in the Constantine region
– tens of rebels were killed

August 1957:
2e REP returned to Philippeville
– to have a freetime and to train

Motorized Company
– at the same time, ER squadron was retitled
– it became Motorized Company (CP)
– CP was equipped with Jeeps (same as the ER)

2e REP deployed to Tebessa
– August 18, 2e REP deployed back to Tebessa

– August 21, a military operation
– at Oued Hallail, in the Tebessa region
– alongside the 6th Motorized Company, 4e REI
– 35 rebels were killed

September-December 1957:
– 2e REP operated in the Tebessa region
– bordering Tunisia
– the rebels had their training camps in Tunisia
– they also used supply roads crossing the border
– because of that, there were large rebel activities in the region

– September 7, an operation at Djebel Darmoun
– close to Bir El Ater, south of Tebessa
– 21 rebels were imprisoned

– October 29, clashes with rebels
– at Djebel Rhifouf, south of Tebessa
– 26 rebels were killed

– November 4, an operation at Ed Daroua
– north of Tebessa
– 27 rebels were killed

– November 25, clashes at Djebel Djebria
– west of Tebessa
– 23 rebels were killed

– December 7, a battle at Djebel Bou Djellal
– south of Tebessa
– 106 rebels were killed

– December 9, an operation at Djebel Fedjoudj
– south-west of Tebessa
– 69 rebels were killed

– December 18, clashes at Djebel el Hamimat Guerra
– south-west of Tebessa
– 61 rebels were killed

– December 22, 2e REP returned to Philippeville
– the regiment was stationed at Camp Pehau

– in the Tebessa region, the regiment got good results
– 362 rebels were killed, 26 rebels were captured

– 2e REP also suffered several losses, however
– 3 officers + 17 legionnaires were killed
– 2 officers + 42 legionnaires were wounded

 

2e REP - 2 REP -  Foreign Legion Etrangere - Tebessa - operation - 1957
2e REP legionnaires in the Tebessa region, early 1957.
2e REP - 2 REP -  El Milia - operation - 1957
2e REP men in the El Milia region, July 1957.
2e REP - 2 REP -  Parachute Regiment - El Milia - legionnaire - 1957
A 2e REP legionnaire being surrounded by local children in the El Milia region, July 1957.
2e REP - 2 REP -  Parachute Regiment - Camp Pehau - Philippeville - 1957
Camp Pehau, Philippeville. Situated on the outskirts of the town, alongside a beach. The camp became the 2e REP’s main base in late 1957.
2e REP - 2 REP -  Parachute Regiment - Camp Pehau - Entrance - 1957
Camp Pehau, the entrance. Note that the placards were those being installed previously at Caserne de France.
2e REP - 2 REP -  Foreign Legion Etrangere - Tebessa - Piasecki H-21 - 1957
2e REP men spill out of a Piasecki H-21 in the Tebessa region, November 1957. These helicopters (nicknamed Banana) became very useful during operations in large, mountainous areas of northeastern Algeria.
2e REP - 2 REP -  Foreign Legion Etrangere - Tebessa - parade - 1957
2e REP legionnaires parade in Tebessa, late December 1957.

 

2e REP: 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment in 1958

January-February 1958:
– 2e REP served in the El Milia region
– west of Philippeville
– alongside legionnaires from 3e REI

– February 1, Colonel de Vismes left the 2e REP
– Major Masselot took command par interim

– February 25, clashes at Draa Tameroun
– south-east of El Milia
– 29 rebels were killed

March-April 1958:
– operations in the El Milia and Djidjelli regions
– also operations in the Philippeville region

– March 15-17, clashes in the Arb Estahia forest
– south-west of Philippeville
– 48 rebels were killed

Change of Command
– April 7, a new commander was appointed
Colonel Jacques Lefort
– Major Masselot became his deputy

– April 26-27, Operation Romeo 50
– at Beni Sbih, in the El Milia region
– south-east of El Milia
– 199 rebels were killed

May 1958:
– 2e REP operated in the Souk Ahras region
– 75 miles (120 km) south-east of Philippeville

– May 1, a fierce battle
– at Djebel Mouadjene, in the Souk Ahras region
– 54 rebels were killed

Putsch of 13 May 1958
– a putsch in support of General de Gaulle
– the leader of Free France 1940-44
– the provisional leader of France 1944-46
– French Army generals organized the putsch
– they seized Algiers and took over the local power
– putschists were led by General Salan + General Massu
– a demand to approve de Gaulle as the leader of France
– May 24, Corsica was seized by French paratroopers
– also a plan to seize Paris
– May 29, then French President left the office
– General de Gaulle returned to power
– he promised that Algeria would remain French
– all legionnaires were very happy

June-October 1958:
2e REP in the Guelma region
– 45 miles (70 km) south-east of Philippeville
– the unit would stay in this region until October

– in June, Major Georges Masselot had to leave the 2e REP
– the then deputy commander
– a commander of the 2e BEP in 1954-55
– he was replaced by Major Robert Caillaud
– the very first commander of the 1st Company, 2e BEP in 1948

– July 13, an operation south of Guelma
– between Ras El Mdouda and Ain Damous
– to find a rebel group hidden in the cave
– a platoon from 3rd Company, 2e REP
– underground, the men were exposed to the toxic gaz
Lietenant Jean Gastaud was killed
– 7 legionnaires were also killed

– in mid-July, a week operation
– in the Guelma region
– 25 rebels were killed

– in mid-September, clashes south of Guelma
– at Djebel Mahouna and another sector
– 42 rebels were killed

November 1958:
– operations in the El Milia region again

December 1958:
2e REP returned to Philippeville

 

2e REP - 2 REP - Algeria - 1958 - Operations - Map
In 1958, the 2e REP conducted operations first in the El Milia and Djidjelli regions. Then, several smaller operations took place in the Souk Ahras region. In June 1958, the regiment deployed to Guelma, to patrol the region between Guelma and Souk Ahras until November.
2e REP - 2 REP - Algeria - El Milia - legionnaires - 1958
2e REP men in the El Milia region, early 1958. If needed, they make their time on operations a little bit better.
2e REP - 2 REP -  Jacques Lefort - Georges Masselot - 1958
Colonel Jacques Lefort, a new commanding officer of the 2e REP (since April 1958), receiving the regimental flag. Behind him, Major Georges Masselot, his deputy. Major Masselot dreamed about being promoted to Lt Colonel and appointed as the head of the regiment. However, his pleas went unheard. Moreover, due to tensions between both officers, Major Masselot had to leave the 2e REP (having served with the unit for four years already) and the Legion, which he joined in 1936 as a young French officer.
2e REP - 2 REP -  Philippeville - Camerone - 1958
Camerone 1958. Jeeps of the Combat Support Company (CA), 2e REP parading on Camerone Day (commemorating the Battle of Camerone) in Philippeville, April 30, 1958.
2e REP - 2 REP - Algeria - Guelma - legionnaires - 1958
2e REP legionnaires observing a sector in the Guelma region, 1958.
2e REP - 2 REP - Algeria - Guelma - Saint Michel - 1958
Saint Michael Day 1958. 2e REP men parade in Guelma on September 29, to commemorate their patron, Saint Michael.
2e REP - 2 REP - Algeria - Guelma - mortars - 1958
CA company of the 2e REP in the Guelma region, late 1958. They are shelling rebel positions with their 120 mm BRANDT 1951 mortars.
2e REP - 2 REP - Algeria - Noel - Christmas Eve - 1958
Noel 1958. 2e REP legionnaires celebrating Christmas Eve, the second most important holiday in the Legion.

 

2e REP: 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment in 1959

January-April 1959:
– operations in several regions
– in the Guelma and Souk Ahras regions
– also in the El Milia region

– February 2, Major Pierre Darmuzai became a deputy commander

– March 1-2, an operation at Ouillen
– south-east of Souk Ahras
– 47 rebels were killed
Captain Pierre Bourgin was also killed
– Motorized Company’s (ex-Squadron) commander
– 2e REP’s first company commander killed in action

May-June 1959:
– operations in the Bone region (now Annaba)
– some 40 miles (65 km) east of Philippeville

– June 24, Battle of Sidi Salem
– a battle with local rebels
– at Sidi Salem, in the Bone region
– at least 29 rebels were killed
– 18 rebels were imprisoned
– 6 legionnaires were also killed

September 1959:
– 2e REP joined the Challe’s Plan
– a successful strategy of General Challe
– February 1959 – January 1961
– a series of large military operations
– Challe’s Plan had several goals to achieve
– to destroy the rebels in Algeria
– to occupy their current positions

– early September, Operation Rubis
– the first phase of Operation Pierres Precieuses (Sep 1959 – May 1960)
– a successful action in the Bougie region (now Bejaia)
– 110 miles (180 km) west of Philippeville

October-December 1959:
– 2e REP operated in the Djidjelli region
– west of Philippeville
– the HQ was stationed at Chefka, south of Djidjelli

– in late October, Operation Saphir
– the second phase of Operation Pierres Precieuses
– a three-day-long operation in the Djidjelli region
– at least 12 rebels were killed

– in early November, Operation Turquoise
– the third phase of Operation Pierres Precieuses
– in the Djidjelli region
– alongside their comrades from 1er REP
Second Lieutenant Orlando Iezzi was killed
– he started his career as a simple legionnaire

 

2e REP - 2 REP - Pierre Bourgin - Von Palaïeff - 1959
Captain Pierre Bourgin. A company commander with the Motorized Company (CP, ex-Squadron), 2e REP killed in action on March 1, 1959 in the Souk Ahras region. The very first officer of the regiment with such rank being killed. A very popular officer among his men. As a member (later also a provisional commander) of the 3e CSPL (1955-56) in the desert of Libya, he chose nickname Von Palaïeff and started to write his own poems for Kepi blanc, the Legion’s official monthly magazine. Born in 1924, a commando leader in Indochina, wounded. He gained eight mentions in dispatches.
2e REP - 2 REP - Algeria - 1959 - Operations - Map
In early 1959, the 2e REP conducted operations in the Guelma and Souk Ahras regions. In May-June 1959, the regiment served around Bone. Then, it moved to the Djidjelli region, where the 2e REP would stay until May 1960. An operation took place also near Bougie in September 1959.
2e REP - 2 REP - Algeria - M20 Recoilless Rifle - Cannon 75 SR - 1959
A 2e REP legionnaire with his M20 Recoilless Rifle (called Canon 75 SR in France) during an operation in northeastern Algeria, 1959.
2e REP - 2 REP - Algeria - Bone - 1959
2e REP men supported by a tank during an operation close to Bone, 1959.
2e REP - 2 REP - Algeria - 2e REP - 2 REP -  Jacques Lefort - Henri Dufour - 1er REP - 1 REP - 1959
Both REPs in action. A very rare photo showing the commanders of both Legion paratrooper regiments during an operation in Algeria. Colonel Jacques Lefort (képi), the head of the 2e REP and Lieutenant Colonel Henri Dufour, the head of the 1er REP. Both REPs met together during Operation Turquoise in the Djidjelli region, in November 1959.

 

2e REP: 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment in 1960

January-May 1960:
– 2e REP continued to operate in the Djidjelli region
– during Operation Pierres Precieuses

– in March, several small operations
– Operation Basalte
– Operation Porphyre
– Operation Topaz (the last phase of Pierres Precieuses)

Change of Command
– March 31, a new commander was appointed
Lieutenant Colonel Pierre Darmuzai
– the only commander of the 3e REP

– April 19, a skirmish with rebels
– in the Forest of Beni Salah
– east of Djidjelli
Captain Jean Planet was killed
– Combat Support Company’s commander

May-August 1960:
– operations in the Djidjelli and El Milia regions

– August 14, Operation Alexandrine
– in the Forest of Ouled Ali
– south-west of El Milia
– 10 rebels were killed
– 27 rebels were captured

September 1960:
– Operation Ariege
– a large operation in the Aures Mountains
– west of Khenchela
– a town situated 100 miles (160 km) south of Philippeville
– the operation took several weeks
– 2e REP were involved
– alongside 3e REI and 5e REI
– 95 rebels were killed by the 2e REP

– late September, 2e REP returned to Philippeville

December 1960:
– 2e REP operated back in the Khenchela region

– December 2, Operation Alex
– at Djebel Chelia, west of Khenchela
– during the operation, a fierce battle with rebels
– 10 legionnaires were killed

2e REP deployed to Tlemcen
– late December, 2e REP deployed to the Tlemcen region
– a region in northwestern Algeria
– bordering Morocco
– 2e REP would guard the Algeria-Morocco border

 

2e REP - 2 REP - Pierre Darmuzai - 1960
Lieutenant Colonel Pierre Darmuzai. In late March 1960, he took command of the 2e REP. The only officer who led all the three main airborne units of the Legion. In 1948, he led the very first parachute company created within the Legion in Algeria. A year later, he formed and led the 3e BEP. In 1951-52, he commanded the 1er BEP in Indochina. In 1955, he returned back to the 3e BEP and reorganized it into the 3e REP. In early 1959, he joined the 2e REP to serve as a deputy commander. Because of sad events in 1961, he had to leave the regiment and, later, the Legion.
2e REP - 2 REP - Algeria - Djidjelli - Bernard Cabiro - 1960
The 2e REP parade behind Major Bernard Cabiro, then new deputy commander of the regiment, during the Change of Command ceremony in Djidjelli, March 31, 1960. Note the color guard wearing an “operational” dress uniform with berets instead of kepis.
2e REP - 2 REP - Algeria - Jean Planet - 1960
Captain Jean Planet, then commander of the Combat Support Company, killed on April 19, 1960, in the Djidjelli region. He became the second and last company commander of the 2e REP killed in action in Algeria. Born in 1927, two times wounded during the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, six mentions in dispatches.
2e REP - 2 REP - Algeria - operation - 1960
2e REP legionnaires during an operation in northeastern Algeria, 1960.
2e REP - 2 REP - Algeria - 1960 - Operations - Map
Between January and August 1960, the 2e REP operated in the Djidjelli and El Milia regions. Since September, the regiment would be deployed to Khenchela to operate in the Aures Mountains, situated west of this town. In late December, the 2e REP moved to Tlemcen in northwestern Algeria. The unit would stay there for a month.

 

2e REP: 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment in 1961

January 1961:
– guarding the Algeria-Morocco border

French referendum on Algerian self-determination
– January 8, the referendum was held
– ordered by French President de Gaulle
– in Algeria, 70% of voters voted for Yes
– the referendum was seen as a provocation
– many Legion officers didn’t agree with it

– late January, 2e REP returned to Philippeville

March 1961:
– in March, Operation Dordogne
– it took place in the Khenchela region
– 152 rebels were killed

– March 16, Battle of Djebel Ahmar Khaddou
– a fierce battle in the Biskra region
– north-east of Biskra
– 33 rebels were killed
– 7 legionnaires were also killed
– 15 legionnaires were wounded

April 1961:
– operations in the Batna region
– e.g. at Djebel El Rherab

– operations in the Collo region
– also in the Oued El Kebir sector
– north-west of Collo

– April 2, an operation at Djebel Groun
– close to Maafa, south-west of Batna
– west of Djebel El Rherab
– 6 legionnaires were killed
– victims of a helicopter crash

Generals’ Putsch in Algiers
– April 22-25, Generals’ putsch in Algiers
– led by four French Army generals
– aimed at then French President Charles de Gaulle
– seen by putschists as a betrayal of France, French settlers in Algeria
– also as a betrayal of the French soldiers fallen in the Algerian War
– because of de Gaulle’s acceptance of Algerian independence
– the putschists called for French Algeria
– they believed that the Algerian rebels could be defeated
– 2e REP took part in the Putsch
– led by then deputy commander Major Cabiro (par interim)
– the unit would move to Algiers, the capital
– to support putschists there
– nevertheless, three days later, the action would be over
– April 25, Generals’ Putsch in Algiers failed
– 2e REP returned to Philippeville

– April 30, 25th Parachute Division was dissolved
– because of the participation in the Putsch

May 1961:
The only airborne unit of the Legion
– since May 1, 2e REP has remained the Legion’s only airborne unit
– because of the dissolution of the 1er REP
– dissolved the previous day
– due to the active participation in the Putsch
– several 1er REP members joined the regiment

11th Intervention Light Division
– May 1, 2e REP would be assigned to the 11e DLI
– in July, the regiment left the division

Change of Command
– May 1, a new commander was appointed
Lieutenant Colonel Charles Chenel

May-December 1961:
– operations in the Constantine region
– between Bougie, Bone and Biskra

– in October, operations in the El Milia region

– October 5, clashes at Kef Sidi Marouf
– south of El Milia
– 20 rebels were killed

– October 13, a skirmish at Beni Sbih
– south-east of El Milia
– regional rebels’ HQ destroyed
– 12 rebels were killed

– October 17, another skirmish at Beni Sbih
– 11 rebels were killed

– in November, patrols on the Algeria-Tunisia border

– November 22, a rebel attack at Djebel Addeda
– some 40 miles (65 km) east of Bone
– close to Oum Teboul
– a platoon of Motorized Company attacked by mortar fire
– Lieutenant Erwin Bergot was wounded
– a former platoon leader with 1re CEPML
– 7 legionnaires were also wounded

– in December, two clashes with rebels
– December 23 + December 31
– 36 rebels were killed

 

2e REP: 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment in 1962

January-March 1962:
– operations in the Collo and Djidjelli regions

– also operations in the El Melah region
– at the plains (La Calle or Morris) east of Bone

– an operation at Bordj Bou Arreridj
– west of Setif

– at the time, skirmishes were very rare
– the rebels were not active
– between January and March, only 11 rebels were killed

2e REP to leave Philippeville
– March 15, 2e REP left Philippeville
– stationed there since December 1955
– the unit would be based at Telergma (March 18)
– a small town south-west of Constantine
– 63 miles (100 km) south-west of Philippeville
– with an important military airfiled
– Telergma Airfield (used by the U.S.A.F. during WWII)

Algerian War ended
– March 19, an official ceasefire came into force
– a result of the Évian Accords treaty (signed on March 18)
– however, military operations in Algeria would be conducted until September
– the end of the war would result in Algerian independence
– also in France’s withdrawal from North Africa
– the Foreign Legion’ HQ had to leave its homeland, Algeria
– it would move to France, after 130 years spent there

 

– 2e REP’s 171 officers, NCOs and legionnaires were killed in Algeria

– over 3,600 rebels were killed by the regiment

 

2e REP - 2 REP - Charles Chenel - 1961
Lieutenant Colonel Charles Chenel, 1961. Lt Colonel Chenel took command of the 2e REP in May 1961. A well-known and respected officer. Nicknamed Zatopek by legionnaires in the 1950s, for his long and quick marches. He had never served with a parachute unit before. However, he did well.
2e REP - 2 REP - Pierre Darmuzai - 1960
2e REP men during an operation in northeastern Algeria, 1961.
2e REP - 2 REP - Pierre Darmuzai - 1960
Equipment inspection at Camp Pehau, July 1961.
2e REP - 2 REP - Algeria - operation - 1960
An operation in the Constantine region for the 2e REP, 1961.
2e REP - 2 REP - Algeria - operation - 1960
2e REP legionnaires during one of their last military operations in Algeria, December 1961.
2e REP - 2 REP - Algeria - Telergma - Entrance - 1962
Telergma. In mid-March 1962, a few days before the end of the conflict, the 2e REP left Camp Pehau (1956-62) to be based at Telergma, a military base with an important airfield used by the U.S.A.F. in the 1940s, during WWII.
2e REP - 2 REP - Algeria - Telergma - Camerone - 1962
Camerone Day 1962. 2e REP legionnaires parade at Telergma.
2e REP - 2 REP - Algeria - Telergma - Camp - 1962
A rare image from inside the camp of Telergma, 1962.
2e REP - 2 REP - Algeria - Telergma - Compagnie de Base - 1962
The installation of the 2e REP’s Compagnie de Base (Logistics Company) at the camp of Telergma, 1962.

 
 
 

2e REP: Post-war Algeria between 1962 – 1967

1962:
– April-August, operations in the Collo and Bone regions

Independence of Algeria
– July 5, Algeria gained its independence

– in August, 2e REP started to leave Telergma
– its men would move to Mers El Kebir
– to the large French joint military base

2e REP stationed at Bou Sfer
– September 16, 2e REP was fully stationed at Bou Sfer
– nearby a large joint military base of Mers El Kebir
– an important port town in northwestern Algeria
– located close to Oran
– the strategic air & naval base was the last French land in Algeria
– 2e REP was stationed at a desert place
– the legionnaires had to build a new camp
– it would be named Camp Commandant Segretain
– in memory of Major Pierre Segretain
– the commander of 1er BEP killed in Indochina in 1950

 
1963:
Exercise Criquet
– in January, jumping over Hammaguir
– situated in the desert of western Algeria
– the location of CIEES
– a French ballistic & nuclear missiles center
– two 2e REP companies participated
– in support of the center

– in June, Camp Commandant Segretain was build

Large reorganization of 2e REP
– in July, a reorganization of the regiment started
– to become a modern rapid reaction force
– every company got its future specialization
– a number of new military courses were launched
– courses for future snipers or combat divers
– close combat course or ENTAC (anti-tank) course
– also mountain warfare or guerilla warfare courses
– a high-altitude freefall parachute course
– these courses took place until 1964

SEPP of 2e REP
– the regiment also started to be self-sufficient
– a 2e REP detachment moved to Blida in 1963
– a town with a military airbase, close to Algiers
– to go through a course how to pack and maintain parachutes
– in then DAP (Airborne Detachment) of Algeria
– the course took several weeks
– a new SEPP would be established within the 2e REP
– Maintenance & Packing of Parachutes Platoon
– under the leadership of Staff Sergeant Grany
– even in 2018, the 2e REP still operate their own SEPP

– 2e REP also started to train its own instructors and jumpmasters
– to train, control and drop 2e REP paratroopers
– again, to become a fully self-sufficient unit

2e REP men to deploy to Corsica
– in December, a 2e REP detachment moved to Corsica
– an island in the Mediterranean Sea
– south-east of France, west of Italy
– the men would carry out two tasks
– to establish a parachute training center
– to arrange a future camp for the 2e REP

 
1964:
Exercise Mouette
– in January, an exercise at the base of Mers El Kebir
– to demonstrate the French determination to guard the base
– 2e REP + 1er REC (also based there) participated

Parachute Training Center
– in February, CES was activated in Corsica
– led by Major De Bire
– situated at an abandoned military camp located close to Calvi
– the center would train fresh legionnaires assigned to the 2e REP
– another step of the regiment to be fully self-sufficient
– all French airborne units train their personnel at Pau (France)

Rotational visits to Corsica
– since 1964, 2e REP men were being sent to Corsica
– every company of the 2e REP for a three-month stay
– at the camp near Calvi (home to the CES)
– the companies had to carry out several tasks
– to arrange the camp for future transfer of the regiment
– to train in the high mountains of Corsica
– to maintain order in the troubled, separatist region

 
1965:
Motorized Company dissolved
– December 31, Motorized Company was dissolved
– led by Captain Commerçon
– the unit was created in December 1955
– as Reconnaissance Squadron (ER)
– Motorized Company (CP) since mid-1957

 
1966:
Exercise Sahara
– an officially unspecified mission in the Sahara
– 2e REP participated (the whole regiment)
– most likely in support of a French nuclear testing site
– they (two centers) ended with nuclear tests in 1966
– French nuclear tests moved to French Polynesia
– the Saharan nuclear test sites had to be evacuated

 
1967:
First mission for Commandos
– Reconnaissance Platoon (SE, later CRAP, today GCP)
– 2e REP’s Commandos selected and trained since 1963
– then called Operational Jumpers (Pathfinders unofficially)
– using a high-altitude freefall parachuting
– assigned to Combat Support & Reconnaissance Company
– CAE (ex-CA, future CEA and since 2015 again CA)
– in early 1967, they deployed to the Sahara
– their first official mission
– most likely in support of French nuclear test sites
– or a French space center based in the Sahara
– all of these facilities were evacuated in 1966-67
– the centers moved to French Guiana and French Polynesia

2e REP moved to Corsica
– in May, 2e REP started to leave Africa for Corsica
– to be stationed at the already arranged camp near Calvi
– then called Camp Fiume-Secco
– a former base of the 1er BPC (a French regular unit)
– abandoned in 1963
– between May-June, all companies left Africa
– June 15, 2e REP was officially based in Corsica
– June 29, 3rd Company arrived at Calvi
– the 2e REP’s very last company having left Africa

11th Intervention Division
– July 1, 2e REP was assigned to the 11e DI
– ex-11e DLI (2e REP made part of it shortly in 1961)

 

2e REP - 2 REP - Camp Commandant Segretain - Bou Sfer - 1963
Camp Commandant Segretain. The new camp of 2e REP located at Bou Sfer, close to the then large French joint military base of Mers El Kebir in nortwestern Algeria. The whole camp was built by 2e REP legionnaires between 1962-63.
2e REP - 2 REP - Camp Commandant Segretain - Bou Sfer - 1966
The entrance of the 2e REP’s Camp Commandant Segretain, in the mid-1960s.
2e REP - 2 REP - Algeria - Mers El Kebir - Zodiac - 1963
Legionnaires of the 3rd Company, 2e REP during a night training with Zodiacs near the naval base of Mers El Kebir, 1963. After the end of the Algerian War, the company became an Amphibious Company (its specialization) of the newly reorganized regiment.
2e REP - 2 REP - ENTAC - 1963
ENTAC. A 2e REP legionnaire operates the ENTAC anti-tank system during one of the new military courses, 1963. The courses helped to the modernization of the regiment. In the 1970s, the ENTAC would be replaced by MILAN.
2e REP - 2 REP - Corsica - Skiing - 1965
2e REP legionnaires of the 2nd Company skiing in Corsica, 1965. After the 1963 reorganization, the company became a Mountain Company of the regiment, trained in mountain warfare. However, between 1964-67, all 2e REP legionnaires were being deployed to Corsica to familiarize with the new terrain and to be able to ski.
2e REP - 2 REP - Corsica - Calvi - 1965
A 2e REP legionnaire looking at Calvi, Corsica, 1965. At the time, the regiment was still based in North Africa. However, the Parachute Training Center (CES) of the 2e REP was stationed near Calvi since February 1964, reinforced by a 2e REP company rotating every three months.
2e REP - 2 REP - Corsica - Calvi - moving - 1967
2e REP legionnaires arriving at their new camp located near Calvi, Corsica, late May 1967.
2e REP - 2 REP - Corsica - Calvi - Drapeau - 1967
2e REP’s regimental flag arriving at Calvi, Corsica, June 15, 1967.

 
 
 

2e REP: 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment 1967 – 1989

1968:
Exercise Damergou 1968
– in February, a joint military exercise in Niger
– a country located in West Africa
– a former French colony (independent since 1960)
– the Franco-Niger exercise took six days
– 2nd Company, 2e REP participated (Captain Latournerie)
– the fourth land the 2e REP men operated in
– after Algeria, French Indochina and Corsica
– local newspapers spoke well of the 2e REP men
– they called the legionnaires the best element of the exercise

Exercise Kiwi
– in March, a military exercise in mainland France
– the whole 2e REP participated
– deployed to France for the very first time in its history
– the very first exercise in France for a complete regiment of the Legion

Camp Raffalli
– in April, Camp Fiume-Secco was redesignated
– April 29, it became Camp Raffalli

 
1969:
Operation Limousin
– April 1969 – December 1970
– a military operation in Chad (Central Africa)
– to calm down a local rebellion
– led by FROLINAT (a local liberation front)
– 2e REP participated
– the first military action for a Legion unit since 1962
– April 15-16, over 350 para-legionnaires arrived in Chad
– in October, the whole regiment deployed to Chad
– also CMLE (Foreign Legion Motorized Company)
– both Legion units were regrouped into EMT1 + EMT2
– operational task forces
– a horse cavalry unit was established within the 2e REP
– Mounted Platoon, based at Mangalmé
– consisting of 40 men, led by Lieutenant Pietri

First 2e REP legionnaire killed after 1962
– November 13, a legionnaire was killed in action
Maxime Depuis
– the first 2e REP legionnaire killed since the end of the Algerian War
– in fact, also the first legionnaire killed in action since 1962

 
1970:
– in April 1970, a major part of 2e REP left Chad
– 2e REP legionnaires were very successful
– they pacified their entrusted regions
– tens of rebels were killed
– however, 2e REP also suffered casualties
– 4 men were killed + 10 men were wounded
– between the killed, Medic-Captain Michel de Larre de la Dorie
– only 3rd Company + CAE remained in Chad
– with CMLE, they formed EMT2
– 3rd Company would leave Chad short after

Operation Limousin ended for 2e REP
– December 21, CAE returned from Chad
– the last 2e REP legionnaires operating there
– since April 1970, over 100 rebels were killed
– however, 3 legionnaires were also killed
– 18 legionnaires of CAE were wounded

 
1971:
11th Parachute Division
– in April, 11e DI became 11e DP

 
1974:
Rotational company in TFAI
– in October, 2e REP legionnaires deployed to TFAI
– French Territory of the Afars and the Issas
– today’s Djibouti (since its independence in 1977)
– a country located in the Horn of Africa
– bordering Somalia, Eritrea and Ethiopia
– 2e REP men formed a rotational company of 13e DBLE
– to reinforce this Legion unit stationed there since 1962
– rotational company men were rotating every four months
– their mission was to maintain order in this overseas territory
– 2e REP men guarded the Djiboutian border with Ethiopia
– they were also trained in desert warfare
– 2e REP companies were rotating there until 2011

 
1976:
1976 Loyada Hostage Rescue Mission
– February 4, a counter-terrorist hostage-rescue mission
– the successful mission took place in Loyada
– a village on the border between today’s Djibouti and Somalia
– the mission’s task was to rescue 31 French children
– kidnapped a day earlier by Somali rebels
– from the Somali Coast Liberation Front
– 2nd Company, 2e REP participated (Captain Soubirou)

 
1977:
2e REP men in French Guiana
– in November, 2e REP legionnaires deployed to French Guiana
– a French overseas department located in South America
– they deployed there for the first time
– 2nd Company, 2e REP
– the men visited their comrades from 3e REI
– a Legion regiment stationed there since 1974
– since then, 2e REP units have been deploying there
– for a four-month stay
– to help to maintain order in the region
– to be trained in jungle warfare

 
1978:
Operation Tacaud
– a military operation in Chad
– March 1978 – September 1979
– aimed at GUNT armed groups
– Transitional Government of National Unity
– operating in northern Chad and supported by Libya
– the rebels seized several important towns and places
– they also captured 2,000 Chadian troops
– almost a half of the then Chadian Armed Forces
– 2e REP men participated (sent to Chad in May 1978)
– alongside men from 1er REC and 2e RE (2e REI now)
– operating together as Ati Group (Groupement d’Ati)

 
Battle of Kolwezi
– also Operation Bonite (in France)
– in May, a two-week military operation in then Zaire
– Democratic Republic of the Congo now (Central Africa)
– to liberate over 2,000 Europeans held by local rebels
– in the city of Kolwezi, an important mining center
– 2e REP was sent to liberate them
– over 2,000 Europeans were rescued
– 247 rebels were killed
– over 160 rebels were imprisoned
– 5 legionnaires were also killed
– the battle got a large publicity in the media
– 2e REP became popular around the world

 
1982:
Mont Garbi aircraft accident
– February 3, a sad accident in Djibouti
– a French military aircraft crashed into Mont Garbi
– 2nd Platoon, 4th Company, 2e REP on board
– Captain Philipponnat + 26 legionnaires
– also two men from 13e DBLE
– all passengers were killed
– the most tragic day for the 2e REP in its history

Operation Epaulard
– it took place in Lebanon
– a country in the Middle East
– August 21 – September 13
– part of Operation Diodon (1982-84)
– an international peacekeeping mission
– also known as the Multinational Force in Lebanon
– the very first such mission for legionnaires
– 2e REP deployed as the very first military force
– to evacuate a Palestinian contingent from Beirut
– to prevent a war between Lebanon and Israel
– also to guard Beirut during the Civil war in Lebanon (1975-90)

2e REP men in Central African Republic
– that year, first 2e REP men deployed to the CAR
– to maintain order in the region
– between 1982-83, also several construction missions
– 2e REP men built seventeen bridges there
– they built a new French military camp
– also a French military jungle training center
– 2e REP men would be returning to the CAR periodically

 
1983 – 1984:
Operation Manta
– another military operation in Chad
– November 1983 – May 1984
– CEA, 2e REP took part

2e REP men in Ivory Coast
– December 1983 – March 1984
– a country located in West Africa
– HQ Company, 2e REP were involved
– in support of the French forces based there
– to maintain order in the region

 
1986:
Operation Epervier
– a long military mission in Chad started
– to maintain order in the region
– after the GUNT armed groups ended their activities
– 2e REP men were rotating there on regulary basis
– carrying out four-month long deployments
– the mission ended in 2014

 

2e REP - 2 REP - Commandos - Chuteurs opérationnels - Pathfinders - Calvi - 1967
2e REP commandos, when jumping over Calvi from high altitude, August 1967. Officially called Operational Jumpers (Chuteurs Opérationnels), then nicknamed Pathfinders; members of the Reconnaissance Platoon, CAE. They would become CRAP (Research Commandos) in 1982 and GCP (Commandos Group) in 1999.
2e REP - 2 REP - Corsica - Camp Raffalli - Calvi
Camp Raffalli. The home to the 2e REP since June 1967. Until April 1968, it was known as Camp Fiume-Secco. Build in 1958, the camp was used by the 1er BPC (Shock Parachute Battalion) until 1963. In early 1964, a parachute training center of the 2e REP was established there.
2e REP - 2 REP - Niger - Damergou - 1968
Niger. A legionnaire of the 2nd Company, 2e REP in Niger (West Africa), during Exercise Damergou, February 1968. It was the first experience of the 2e REP with the real, sub-Saharan Africa.
2e REP - 2 REP - Chad - Operation Limousin - Legionnaires
Operation Limousin in Chad, 1969. The first military actions for the Legion since 1962. 2e REP men participated in the operation between 1969-70.
2e REP - 2 REP - Chad - Operation Limousin - Cavalry - Mounted Platoon
Mounted Platoon, 2e REP in Chad, 1969. In the very rare photo, para-legionnaires of Lieutenant Pietri‘s Mounted Platoon with their horses during a patrol. They were very effective due to their mobility during the local rainy season. The 2e REP cavalrymen served as a reconnaissance unit. However, they also fought with rebels, like in February 1970.
2e REP - 2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Mortar Platoon - S81
Battle of Kolwezi, May 1978. Mortar Platoon of the 2e REP during an action at Kolwezi. The successful operation popularized the regiment worldwide.
2e REP - 2 REP - Battle of Kolwezi - 1978 - Kolwezi - Jeeps
The 2e REP’s Jeeps patrolling around Kolwezi, late May 1978.
2e REP - 2 REP - LOHR Fardier - Mortar Platoon
Heavy Mortar Platoon, 2e REP, early 1980. The platoon was freshly equipped with LOHR Fardier 4×4 vehicles, designed for airborne units as “motorized mules”, to pull 120 mm movable mortars. The 2e REP used these small vehicles until the late 1990s. Note the legionnaires having already been equipped with FAMAS rifles.
2e REP - 2 REP - Mont Garbi - Calvi
Mont Garbi Accident – Paying homage, February 12, 1982. At Camp Raffalli, the 2e REP and local authorities + civilians pay homage to Captain Philipponnat and his 26 legionnaires from the 2nd Platoon, 4th Company killed during the aircraft accident in Djibouti.
2e REP - 2 REP - Operation Epaulard - Lebanon - Beirut
Operation Epaulard in Lebanon, August-September 1982. 2e REP legionnaires maintain order in Beirut (the capital) to prevent clashes between belligerent sides of the then ongoing civil war. International forces remain in Lebanon even today (2018).
2e REP - 2 REP - Operation Manta - Chad
Operation Manta in Chad, 1984. An anti-aircraft SADAA element of the Reconnaissance & Support Company (CEA), 2e REP equipped with a 20 mm cannon fixed on a VLRA 4×4 truck. The little-known anti-aircraft SADAA platoon disappeared in the early 1990s.
2e REP - 2 REP - Central African Republic
Central African Republic in late 1987. Legionnaires of the 3rd Company, 2e REP patrolling near the border with Sudan.
2e REP - 2 REP - Camp Raffalli - Camerone - 1988
Camerone 1988. The Camp Raffalli during 1988 Camerone Day, April 30. Note the dog handlers from Dog Platoon, 1st Company, 2e REP.
2e REP - 2 REP - Vergio - Music Band - Musique - 1989-90
Music Band of 2e REP in winter 1989-90, at the regiment’s mountain chalet of Vergio, Corsica. The then Music Band was assigned to the CEA and was formed with legionnaires of the anti-tank Milan Platoon. Created in Algeria in May 1964 by adopting the musicians of the dissolved 4e REI, the Band would disappear in the 1990s.

 
 
 

2e REP: 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment 1990 – 2018

1990:
Operation Requin
– May-July 1990
– a military operation in Gabon
– a country on the west coast of Central Africa
– to evacuate some 2,000 French nationals
– 2nd Company, 2e REP (Captain Lieutaud) participated

– in July, Jeep Hotchkiss M201 left the regiment
– transport vehicles used since the creation of the regiment
– they were replaced by Peugeot P4

 
Gulf War
– also Operation Daguet (in France)
– September 1990 – February 1991
– a war in Iraq (a country in the Middle East)
– 2e REP commandos participated
– alongside 2e REI, 1er REC and 6e REG (now 1er REG)

Operation Noroit
– in October 1990
– a military operation in Rwanda
– a small country in Central-East Africa
– to protect and evacuate French nationals
– threatened by the starting Rwandan Civil War (1990-94)
– CRAP (commandos) + 4th Company, 2e REP participated

Deployment to Chad
– a less-known military deployment to Chad
– November-December 1990
– officially as part of Operation Epervier
– HQ + four companies of 2e REP participated
– they operated at N’Djamena (the capital)
– to protect and evacuate 1,600 Europeans
– threatened by local rebel groups
– several skirmishes with rebels occurred
– also to supervise the return of Libyan prisoners
– fighting against French troops and imprisoned in 1987

 
1991:
DAMI mission in Rwanda
– Military Support Detachment and Instruction
– November 1991 – March 1992
– a military mission in Rwanda
– part of Operation Noroit
– 3rd Company, 2e REP were involved

Operation Verdier
– a military operation in Togo and Benin (West Africa)
– it took place there in December 1991
– to protect and evacuate French nationals
– threatened by clashes between local rebels
– 2e REP men were part of the operation
– they supported French troops from Chad

 
1992:
Operation Iskoutir
– an operation in Djibouti
– to restore order in the region
– in support of the Djiboutian government
– threatened by FRUD rebels
– part of the Djiboutian Civil War (1991-94)
– 2e REP legionnaires were involved
– while being a rotational company of 13e DBLE
– Operation Iskoutir would last until 1999

Operation Oryx
– December 1992 – January 1993
– a French humanitarian operation in Somalia
– a country in the Horn of Africa
– part of Operation Restore Hope
– the US-led Unified Task Force (UNITAF)
– 3rd Company, 2e REP took part
– 2e REP men were the first troops to arrive
– to take control of Mogadishu (the capital)

 
1993:
2e REP in Bosnia and Herzegovina
– a FORPRONU (UNPROFOR) humanitarian mission
– January-July 1993
– some 2e REP elements since mid-December 1992
– the mission occurred in Sarajevo
– the then besieged capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina
– a country in the Balkan Peninsula (Europe)
– a former part of Yugoslavia
– the city saw the Siege of Sarajevo (1992-96)
– part of the Yugoslav Wars (1991-2001)
– 2e REP men wore blue berets & helmets for the first time
– a symbol of the UN peace forces
– however, they were threatened by local militants
– a legionnaire would be killed
– the first 2e REP member killed since Kolwezi
– several 2e REP men would be wounded
– the majority of 2e REP men were very disappointed
– they weren’t allowed to use firearms to defend themselves

 
1994:
Operation Turquoise
– a humanitarian mission in Rwanda
– June-August 1994
– to save 20,000 Tutsi refugees
– 2e REP commandos took part
– alongside legionnaires from 2e REI and 13e DBLE

– August 1, Maintenance Company
– a new company of the 2e REP
– to maintain equipment and vehicles

 
1995 – 1996:
IFOR in Bosnia and Herzegovina
– November 1995 – April 1996
– Implementation Force
– also known as Operation Joint Endeavour
– a NATO-led multinational peace enforcement force
– six 2e REP companies were involved
– over 1,000 para-legionnaires
– they didn’t wear blue berets or helmets anymore
– they were allowed to use their firearms
– their mission was to carry out peace accords
– between Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats
– however, several clashes occurred
– for the 2e REP, the first operation in winter conditions
– they operated between Sarajevo, Mostar and Gorazde
– a legionnaire was killed

 
1996 – 1997:
Operation Almandin 2
– an operation in the Central African Republic
– November 1996 – January 1997
– to protect and evacuate French nationals
– threatened by clashes between local rebels
– 3rd + 4th Company, 2e REP took part

 
1997:
Operation Pelican
– May-June 1997
– a series of operations in the Republic of the Congo
– Pelican + Pelican II + Pelican III
– it took place in Brazzaville (the capital)
– to protect and evacuate French nationals
– threatened by clashes between local rebels
– 2e REP men were involved
– a legionnaire was killed (a CRAP commando)
– 9 legionnaires were wounded

Operation Almandin 3
– another operation in the Central African Republic
– June-July 1997
– to protect and evacuate French nationals
– two 2e REP companies participated

 
1999:
11th Parachute Brigade
– in July 1999, 11e DP was reorganized
– it became 11e BP
– 2e REP would be assigned to the brigade

SFOR in Bosnia and Herzegovina
– July-November 1999
– Stabilisation Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina
– a NATO-led multinational peacekeeping force
– to deter hostilities and stabilise the peace
– HQ + CEA + 4th Company, 2e REP were involved

 
2000:
KFOR in Kosovo
– April-June 2000
– Kosovo Force
– a NATO-led international peacekeeping force
– to establish a secure environment in Kosovo
– a partially recognised state in Southeastern Europe
– 1st Company, 2e REP were involved
– based in Mitrovica
– they protected mainly the Mitrovica Bridge
– a new capability for 2e REP legionnaires
– to control an angry crowd without fighting

 
2001:
KFOR in Kosovo again
– January-May 2001
– HQ + 3rd + 4th Company, 2e REP were involved
– they protected Serbian enclaves in Kosovo
– a legionnaire died

 
2002 – 2010:
Operation Licorne
– an operation in Ivory Coast
– to maintain order in the region
– to protect and evacuate French nationals
– 2e REP units participated
– a legionnaire was badly wounded by a mortar fire

 
2006 – 2013:
Operation Boali
– an operation in the Central African Republic
– to maintain order in the region
– to train local armed forces
– 2e REP units were involved
– in 2006, 2010 and 2013

 
2008 – 2011:
War in Afghanistan
– also Operation Enduring Freedom
– a military operation in Afghanistan
– a country located within south-central Asia
– 2e REP took part
– 5 legionnaires were killed

 
2011-16:
2e REP in the United Arab Emirates
– the men formed a rotational company of 13e DBLE
– the unit having left Djibouti for the UAE in 2011

 
2013 – 2014:
Operation Serval
– January 2013 – July 2014
– a military operation in Mali
– a country located in West Africa
– to oust militants from the north of Mali
– 2e REP took part
– 2 legionnaires were killed (GCP commandos)

2e REP jumped over Timbuktu
– an action in 2013, part of Operation Serval
– January 28, a night operational jump
– carried out by HQ + 2nd Company, 2e REP
– they jumped over Timbuktu
– an ancient trading city in Mali
– an important point controlled by local miliant groups
– within a few hours, the city was seized

2e REP obtained a new Fourragère
– in July 2013, the regiment was awarded
– with a new Fourragère
– in colors of Croix de la Valeur militaire
– Military Valor Cross (red & white)
– for its actions in the War in Afghanistan in 2008-11
– since then, para-legionnaires wear two Fourragères

 
Operation Sangaris
– December 2013 – October 2016
– a military operation in the Central African Republic
– to maintain order in the region
– 2e REP took part

 
2014 – present (2018):
Operation Barkhane
– since August 2014
– a military operation in the Sahel region of Africa
– in Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad
– the operation replaced two older operations
– Operation Epervier in Chad (1986-2014)
– Operation Serval in Mali (2013-14)
– its taks is to restore order in the region
– by eliminating local rebel groups
– 2e REP legionnaires have been participating
– tens of rebels have been killed

 
2015 – present (2018):
Operation Sentinelle
– an operation in mainland France
– to protect sensitive places in cities and towns
– a response to terrorist attacks in France
– 2e REP legionnaires have been participating

 
2015:
– December 15, 5th Combat Company
– a new combat company of the 2e REP established
– specialized in desert warfare

 
2017:
2e REP for 50 years at Calvi
– that year, the 2e REP celebrated its 50 years spent at Calvi

 
 

2e REP - 2 REP - Chad - Operation Epervier - 1990
Chad, December 1990. 2e REP legionnaires from HQ Company during a less-known operation in Chad, in support of French nationals and French institutions.
2e REP - 2 REP - Chad - Libyan prisoners - 1990
Libyan prisoners repatriated to Libya, December 1990. 2e REP legionnaires supervising the repatriation of Libyan prisoners during a little-known operation in Chad. These Libyans were imprisoned mainly in 1986-87, due to their military support of local rebels.
2e REP - 2 REP - Iraq - Operation Daguet - Gulf War - As Salman - 1991
Iraq, February 1991. 2e REP commandos during Operation Daguet (part of the Gulf War).
2e REP - 2 REP - Rwanda - Operation Noroit - Camerone - 1991
Camerone Day in Rwanda, April 30, 1991. In the rare photo, 2e REP legionnaires from 4th Company celebrate Camerone Day in Rwanda, during the ongoing Operation Noroit.
2e REP - 2 REP - Somalia - Mogadishu - Operation Oryx - 1992
Mogadishu in Somalia, December 1992. A 2e REP legionnaire from 3rd Company on a checkpoint in the capital of Somalia. Behind him, an AAV-P7 of the US Marines.
2e REP - 2 REP - Bosnia - Sarajevo - 1993
Bosnia – Sarajevo, 1993. 2e REP legionnaires during a sad and frustrating mission in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Note the blue berets and helmets of the UN peacekeeping forces. Several legionnaires burned their blue berets in protest against the UN policy of not using firearms when being under fire. In Sarajevo, the para-legionnaires were equipped with VAB armored carriers (in the right picture), for the first time. However, the regiment would not receive them until 1999.
2e REP - 2 REP - Gabon - 1994
Gabon, 1994. 2e REP legionnaires during the local jungle commando course.
2e REP - 2 REP - Champs-Élysées - Bastille Day - 1995
Champs-Élysées, Paris, July 1995. 2e REP legionnaires marching down the avenue during the famous Bastille Day Military Parade.
2e REP - 2 REP - Bosnia - IFOR - 1996
IFOR in Bosnia, 1996. The Heavy Mortar Platoon (SML) of the CEA, 2e REP during the IFOR mission in Bosnia. This time, the legionnaires wore their helmets and were allowed to use even mortars. And they used them well.
2e REP - 2 REP - Zaire - Operation Pelican - 1997
Operation Pelican in Zaire, 1997. 2e REP legionnaires took part in several clashes with local rebels. A commando would be killed.
2e REP - 2 REP - Kosovo - Mitrovica - 2000
Kosovo, 2000. Another delicate mission for 2e REP warriors. In Mitrovica, they had to separate two angry sides of local European inhabitants, without using firearms.
2e REP - 2 REP - Ivory Coast - Operation Licorne - 2002
Ivory Coast, 2002. Men of the 1st Company during Operation Licorne in West Africa.
2e REP - 2 REP - Afghanistan - 2011
Afghanistan, 2011. 2e REP legionnaires from 2nd Company patrolling in the Surobi district.
2e REP - 2 REP - GCP - Commandos - 2014
GCP commandos, mid-2010s, during an exercise in Corsica. To be even allowed to the GCP selection, a candidate in full kit has to run 30 km in less than 4 hours.
2e REP - 2 REP - Calvi - 50th Anniversary - 2017
50 years at Calvi, 2017. The 2e REP color guard during the parade to celebrate 50 years of the regiment’s presence at Calvi.
2e REP - 2 REP - Operation Barkhane - Mali - 2018
Operation Barkhane, 2018. 2e REP legionnaires speaking with a Malian soldier during a patrol in Mali. Note the legionnaire in the center being equipped with the HK 416 F rifle.

 
 

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Main information & images sources:
Képi blanc magazines
Foreign Legion annual bulletins
Pierre Montagnon: Les parachutistes de la Légion (Pygmalion, 2005)
Yves Debay: Le 2e REP (Histoire et collections, 2002)
Hommes de Guerre magazines
Ecpad – French Army media agency
Fanion Vert et Rouge (Fr)
Google Maps
Wikipedia.org

 
More from the history of the Foreign Legion’s paratroopers:
1st Foreign Parachute Regiment
3rd Foreign Parachute Regiment
Parachute Company of 3e REI
1st Heavy Mortar Foreign Parachute Company
CERA – Foreign Airdrop Company
 

 

The page was updated on: December 02, 2018

 

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