French Commando Course

#1
Any one done this ? About 15 years ago there were flyers all over the place asking brit soldier to do it, I just wonder if they open it up for us.

Seem to remember talking to those that did it that it was complete pish and the only people to fail it was the french, eye-ties and spetics (thier claim not mine) anyone care to throw light on this ?
 
#2
i think its the one where you run over an assault in reverse order with your hands up waving a white flag ?
 
#3
They have a well cool 19th century fort with loads of high wires over cliffs near some where called Quberion. CUOTC went there in 2001. Like the crystal maze that place, got a sweet death slide thingy too
 
#5
Some time between 84 and 86 my old inf bn sent an entire pl to do it. All passed with flying colours.
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
#6
Les grenouilles have a bunch of different courses, all giving a commando badge, but with different enamelled centres to them. They range from the laid-back Crystal Maze place, to some fairly sporty numbers, notably in French Guiana and Reunion. As a rule of thumb, if any of the DS are wearing green berets, it's going to be a bit fluffy all round.
 
#7
wellyhead said:
Any one done this ? About 15 years ago there were flyers all over the place asking brit soldier to do it, I just wonder if they open it up for us.

Seem to remember talking to those that did it that it was complete pish and the only people to fail it was the french, eye-ties and spetics (thier claim not mine) anyone care to throw light on this ?
The French have a different attitude to Commando Training than the Brits: Rather than selecting individuals for elite training, whole companies are sent to learn generic commando skills such as OBUA, laying of explosives etc. The training teams of the Centres d'Entrainement Commando do not go out of their way to fail individuals, but encourage teamwork and camaraderie so that the whole company passes out (rather like TESEX for UK inf bns).

Not easier, not harder, just different.
 
#8
The French have a different attitude to Commando Training than the Brits: Rather than selecting individuals for elite training, whole companies are sent to learn generic commando skills such as OBUA, laying of explosives etc. The training teams of the Centres d'Entrainement Commando do not go out of their way to fail individuals, but encourage teamwork and camaraderie so that the whole company passes out (rather like TESEX for UK inf bns).

Not easier, not harder, just different
.



Mais Voila, un ancien de la 1ere Cie (allez les Vertes).
It helps if you're an amateur gymnast, or trapeez artist. However, don't worry too much about tactics or any of that soldiering stuff, it doesn't bothers the French !! Mind you I found it helps if you've got a strong set of vocal cords...enjoy
 
#10
SixBadges said:
Bienvenue Leon. More Majorum. I hope you have fully recovered from the celebrations of the fete de St Michel?
Malhereusement, Non. Can't even get me hands on a shandy round here, let alone 'une caisse de Kros'. Anyway, did I say allez the vertes....Sorry mec, I meant to say Allez les Noirs!! Repos..
 
#11
In the early eighties almost a complete Battery attended a course near trier. Very enjoyable experience. The only gripe was the meals and the very dodgy wine with every meal. Monster badge on completion of the course, good for hiding behind.
 
#13
I went to Trier with a composite Platoon ca 1977 to do this course. It was run as a competition between our platoon 2 American Platoons and 2 French Platoons. We won by such a margin it was embarrassing. It consisted of such things as explosives training, working in tunnels a P Coy type trainasium. And other skills deemed by the French to be commando skills. The course culminated with an exercise. Starting in hide positions then advance to contact and an attack, all pretty basic stuff. No problem to a UK infantry Platoon.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
You know when French SF are operating in your back garden because the dog's pregnant and all the snails have gone.
 
#15
It's for puffs.

A bit like the guards.
 
#16
Back in the 90's there was a two part documentary about the FFL on the telly. Following the FFL career/course path they ended up in French Guyana at the French jungle warfare school. The narrator, who I think was Simon Murray, was explaining the trials and tribulations of spending time in Guyana and introduced the viewer to the jungle assault course. This thing was set up in semi swamp like conditions so that if you were not the first bloke over you would be slipping off wet and muddied obstacles if not running through knee deep swamp.

They showed a bunch of Legionaires going over the assault course and I vaguely recall that the par time was something like 40 - 45 minutes (Condi or Fantassin will correct me if I am wrong). Anyway, they spoke to one of the British Legionaire instructors and asked what the fastest and slowest times were. I forget the fastest time, but I remember him saying that they had a platoon of septic Recon Marines along for the course one time. They set them off and after 4 hours the FFL instructors got bored and disappeared for their lunch whilst the septics were still trying to get around the course.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jungle_Training_Center
 
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#17
Did one in Berlin, late 89. Bit of range work with the Famas, asslt courses, various IED/booby trap emplacement and a confidence element involving laying on the ground and having an AMX tank run over the top of you ! (clearly remember catching a glimpse of the driver through that escape hatch hingy and wishing my 58 pattern mag pouches were empty)
 
#18
Did one in Berlin, late 89. Bit of range work with the Famas, asslt courses, various IED/booby trap emplacement and a confidence element involving laying on the ground and having an AMX tank run over the top of you ! (clearly remember catching a glimpse of the driver through that escape hatch hingy and wishing my 58 pattern mag pouches were empty)
Likewise but in 92 and had a great time. It was bloody cold doing "not getting seen by helicopter drills while paddling across lakes" in November, but, apart from that, thought it was a well-run good craic.
 
#19
The general idea of the Centres d'entrainement commando (CEC) was to give the FRA Army draftees some level of self confidence and some skills in the event of a general Soviet onslaught over Western Europe so they could fight as "behind the lines" units. They were never intended for Special Forces.

Hence the lessons on improvised explosives, how to turn a champagne bottle into a hollow charge, petrol bombs, basic fieldcraft....a CEC course lasted 3 weeks, 2 weeks of intensive lessons in obstacle crossing (both wet and dry), hand to hand combat, small units tactics, rock climbing, explosives, combat shooting (after the mid-90s), an introduction to survival, watermanship, slaughtering and cooking small animals, baking bread in the field... and of course a lot of time spent on confidence courses high in the air....and it concluded with a 2 nights and 3 days "raid' over hilly terrain which normally involved placing "charges" (wooden blocks...) on some "radar equipment" (a beat-up GBC Berliet truck parked in a wood...) and more often than not concluded on a "marche commando" (speed march over 8 km in boots with rifle, web and bergen in less than one hour).

All sorts of units did those course but infantry units had priority. There were "winter" courses with skis and snow shoes in the CEC which were located in mountain areas like the CEC 23°RI in Les Rousses in the Jura mountains.

All the CEC in metropolitan France have now been disbanded save for the "national' CEC in Montlouis which mostly teaches "Commando" techniques to officers and NCOs in 4 weeks courses called 2° and 3° niveau commando. There are some CEC left in French overseas possessions.


A video on the CEC de Givet near the Belgian border; it was disbanded a few years ago.


And an old one (1978 ) of the Trier CEC

The CEFE (Centre d'entrainement en forêt équatoriale run by the FFL's 3°REI but hosting units from all over the globe) is a different animal; when I did it it lasted 13 days but they were all spent in the jungle. The days were filled with water crossing techniques, survival techniques taught by a Brazilian expert, booby traps, obstacle courses, fieldcraft....the aim of the course is not to train a jungle fighter but to give a soldier a modicum of training and understanding of his environment so he can move and live in the jungle without killing himself or drown on the first river crossing.

To get the "brevet" at the end, you need to:

-for privates up to caporal-chef: do the "piste individuelle" (individual obstacle course) in less than 10 mn and 30 seconds without failing any obstacle and to attend all the course;

-for section commanders: do the "piste individuelle" (individual obstacle course) in less than 10 mn and 30 seconds without failing any obstacle, to attend all the course and to do the "piste collective" (section obstacle course with obstacles that can only be crossed as a team) in less than 2 hours and 30 minutes;

-for platoon commanders: do the "piste individuelle" (individual obstacle course) in less than 10 mn and 30 seconds without failing any obstacle, to attend all the course and to successfully complete a day-long navigation exercise with the platoon using map photocopies and compass; this is made more interesting by the fact that the area of the exercise has a lot of ferrous elements in the underground and the needle of your compass sometimes looks like a ventilator...

The CEFE is a great course which teaches you personal admin like nothing else !

The CEFE also runs other courses like a "combat" course for the 3°REI rifle Coys, an Aide moniteur forêt (AMF) for CEFE cadre and an "International" course for allied nations. A good number of the CEFE officers and NCOs have completed the Brazilian CIGS jungle course or another South American jungle schools.
 
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