1er RPIMa- The French Army Special Forces

History of the 1er RPIMa

In spite of its name, the 1er RPIMa (RPIMa standing for Naval Infantry Paratrooper Regiment) does belong to the French army. The Naval Infantry background dates back to 1762 when units of the French army were detached to the French navy for ship borne and overseas duties.

The 1er RPIMa is the inheritor of the traditions of the two Free French Special Air Service (SAS) Regiments that served with distinction alongside their British brothers-in-arms in the SAS Brigade during World War Two. The Free French SAS were among the very first to join Sir David Stirling's newly created unit in Kabrit, North Africa in 1941 and they took part in the epics of the SAS in Africa, Crete, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany, earning many French and foreign awards in the process (including many British Distinguished Service Orders, Military Crosses and Military Medals). Today, this SAS heritage still shows in the regimental motto" Qui Ose Gagne" (Who Dares Wins) and in the award of the RAPAS Wings, a badge reminiscent of the wartime SAS "Operational Wings" which can only be awarded to 1er RPIMa members after they have successfully met a set of stringent requirements including operational deployments.

After WW2, the 1er RPIMa took part in the war in Indochina between 1945 and 1954, performing several of the more than 160 combat jumps carried out by the French paratroopers during that conflict. After the war, the regiment underwent a structural change and became a training depot for the whole of the colonial airborne force. As such, it did not take part in the conflict in Algeria. It remained in the training role until 1974 when the 1er RPIMa was again transformed, this time into a Special Forces unit, a role it has kept until today.

The regimental colours of the 1er RPIMa are decorated with the US Bronze Star Medal, the Dutch Bronze Leeuw and the Belgian Croix de Guerre as well as many French orders including the Légion d'Honneur and the Croix de la Libération.

The 1er RPIMa today

Part of the French army's Special Forces Brigade (BFST), the 1er RPIMa is a modern, highly skilled and experienced Special Forces unit organized along company lines. The main strength of the regiment lies in its three RAPAS companies (RAPAS standing for Airborne Research and Special Action) each specializing in a specific field such as HAHO/HALO, Counter-Terrorism, amphibious, jungle, mountain or motorized patrols operations and in its RAPAS Signal company dedicated to the C3 support of Special Operations. The 1er RPIMa also fields a Training and Operations company which is in charge of providing the selection, initial and continuation training of the unit's manpower and a Logistics company which supports the regiment in its daily and operational undertakings.

The 1er RPIMa is one of Europe's most experienced Special Forces unit, having been constantly engaged in operational deployments from the date of its re-rolling over thirty years ago. It benefits from an exceptional location in Bayonne, South West of France. This positioning makes all sort of training (amphibious, mountain.) possible. It is also ideal as it is very close to the Centre d'Entraînement Adapté (CTA), Europe's largest and most modern Close Quarter Battle (CQB) facility and to the dedicated assets of the French army's Special Forces Aviation Detachment (DAOS) and airborne school (ETAP), two establishments that are essential to its training and operations.

The list of its recent operations shows a world-wide commitment since it ranges from Afghanistan to Africa and the Balkans. The acknowledged expertise of the Regiment is such that in recent years, many prominent European countries have trusted it with the evacuation of their nationals in war-torn countries. The trust of those countries has never been misplaced and the 1er RPIMa has put out of harm's way hundreds of EU and other nationals in the recent past.

Similarly, since the beginning of its involvement in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, first in 2001 and then again from 2003 on, the Regiment has won high praises. The commitment of its members has been rewarded several times by the American forces in the form of Bronze Star, Army Commendation and Army Achievement Medals. The high level of experience reached by the 1er RPIMa also makes it a highly sought-after partner in the development of Special Forces units abroad and the Regiment constantly receives requests for assistance in that field from sister units around the world.

Always the first to deploy, the 1er RPIMa is at the tip of the spear of France's defence; constantly on the lookout for new solutions and opportunities, it remains faithful to the motto of its SAS ancestors, "Who Dares Wins".

Taken from: http://www.rpima1.terre.defense.gouv.fr/

Video: http://www.rpima1.terre.defense.gouv.fr/coeur_regiment/missions/video/index.html#
I'm reaching for the relevance - unless this is part of the ongoing 'France is wonderful - everyone else is crap' campaign sponsored by Fantassin.

All we need now is another thread about guns and I'm set for the week.
RAPAS is of course very similiar to the name of that other elite French military formation, the CRAPS (I kid you not) I believe they have recently changed their name, but werent they the Legions equivalent of RAPAS?
Fantasy Assassin's real name is "visage de chien".

He's an expert on French gun control law. Just wait until that one heats up!

And today he chooses to carry a baguette, and a rolled up copy of Le Monde.

"Run away"

Several French Generals,
repeatedly through history
This could be a spin off from unisoles banal thread where it was brought up that the French marines are part of the French "Army" rather than the French "Navy".

The Pathfinder equivalent of the 2nd REP is indeed refered to as CRAP. Or in French "Commandos de Recherche et d'Action dans la profondeur", literal translation "Commandos of research and in-depth action" so "long range recconnaisance commandos" probably works best.

CRAP consists of one team of "Commandos de Rechercheet d'Action dansle Profondeur", two platoons with MILAN anti tank missiles, one air defence platoon, and a mechanized recon platoon.

Don't know of it changing names though.
"CRAP consists of one team of "Commandos de Rechercheet d'Action dansle Profondeur", two platoons with MILAN anti tank missiles, one air defence platoon, and a mechanized recon platoon".

That's the CEA (support & recce company) of the 80s era French airborne Bn you are describing here.

The CRAPs have been called GCP (Groupes de Commandos Parachutistes) for over a decade now.

RAPAS is the SF skill identifier. GCP are the equivalents of pathfinders.
My bad my info must be old.

Don't all French airbourne forces have GCPs though? I was under the impression to be a CRAP you had to be a bit better than the average GCP.

Are there any French units that specialise in "behind the lines work"? Or are all trained in that role?
chocolate_frog said:
Are there any French units that specialise in "behind the lines work"?
I doubt anyone could advance fast enough to overtake a retreating Frenchman, unless of course, you're suggesting that they would deliberately insert themselves behind enemy lines. 8O :D
chocolate_frog said:
Check ou tthis bad boy!!!

Oh come off it, what the hell can you shoot with that piece of shit? Ungainly, clumsy lookin' AND a granade launcher on the barrel. Look how the SA80 and the M16/M4 were improved by such mods.

Having a nice long and meaningfull name means **** all to people in the forces, it may impress the government and the civvies, but so ******* what? Crap by name, and lets face it, at the end of the day, CRAP by nature.

Peace Out.

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