I know they've been there the last three years the clip even mentions that! Its more about them taking on more engaging roles with the enemy and taking fight to enemy. Perhaps my 'Bienvenue' was too sarcastic and my use of the word 'growing' clouded things!
Sadly the incident last year was more to do with being caught off guard in a relatively peaceful part of the country when compared with the south. I mean that with respect to those that were actually involved as the failures lay in the higher chain of command.
The numbers involved that day and the kit scales had some people comparing it to the sad fate of the RMP's in 2003.
Since then their commanders seem to have let them do what the bods on the ground wanted to be doing from the day they landed.
They're good Soldiers to work with.
Did anybody notice that as soon as shots were fired on the video clip they started making off though
We lost some guys last year, luckily they were paratroopers so our 'Corps' IQ level did not drop too much.
The French have long experience of the Middle East, do not berate them for their non involvement in Iraq. I did Beirut in the eighties, lessons were learnt and brothers lost. First Gulf War we were there, second, hmmm, Bush and Blair !!! no contest.
On a more serious note the guys who died were killed assisting a unit that were pinned down. They were probing a pass in Surobi province and came under attack from approx 100 Taleb' (allegedly!) attacked the boys in front (Regular army).
In the Legion we are specialised Infantry and tend to end up on the sharp end, in this instance some regular paras took the 'Van' and when they were ambushed Legion medics pushed forward to assist their 'frere d'armes'.
The French armed forces have been present in Afghanistan since 2001. So far they have suffered 24 KIAs, as the results of IEDs or direct combat and 3 non combat related death (RTAs).
They operate in the Regional Command Capital with 1,400 troops and on the Pak border in the Kapisa region in the East of Afghanistan with a reinforced battalion of 700 with 3xCaracals and 3xGazelle helo, UAVs, AFVs (AMX 10 RC, VAB, VBL) and heavy mortars (120 mm). With the South, it currently is the hottest part of the country operations and IED wise and the Kapisa Battalion averages several contacts a week.
In addition to that, the French special forces provide the staff of the afghan commando school (jointly with US SF), seven OMLTs that go into action with their kandaks, the staff of the afghan junior staff college, 6 fighters for CAS (Super Etendard, Rafale or Mirage 2000D depending on the rotation), a KC-135 FR and two Transall.
According to a recent article published in Raids magazine, French fighters have delivered over 195 bombs in the past 2 years, 75% of which were in support of OEF and particularly of British troops in contact.
Finally, itâs Chasseurs Alpins not Alpen, and they were the very first troop to wear a beret, in the 19th Century, before any other unit adopted this form of headgear. The shape and form comes shepherdâs berets as they are very useful to protect against the elements. The large beret can be shaped to protect the face from wind, sun, sleet or rain coming from any direction and it is a most treasured piece of uniform amongst the Blue Devils (Les Diables Bleus) the name the Germans gave them during WW1 for their performance on the mountainous Vosges front.