How does the 2 REP (FFL) compare to the British Paras?

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In the Kepi Blanc Magazine of March 2019 is a piece by the COMLE" (i.e. GOC Foreign Legion) General Mistral and about his vision for the Legion in 2025 (commented upon here: Ainsi va le monde !: La vision du général Mistral pour la Légion 2025).

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General Mistral

In summary:

The Legion, notwithstanding its renowned "rusticity", is adapting to new military technologies and practices, just as it has done throughout its history. In 2025, whilst continuing to exemplify its specific attributes within the French Army, the Legion will ensure that all of its personnel remain completely professionally capable and are able to meet modern operational demands.

This aim will be achieved through three concurrent courses of action.

Firstly: Although the Legion will ensure that its systemic coherence and values are maintained, including the legal status of "service as a foreigner"; the "Legion system" seen as "a homeland apart" will change. However the Legion will work to keep the attributes that ensure its cohesion, strength and reputation. The means by which the mission is accomplished will change, but the foundations of the institution will remain.

Secondly: The Legion will ensure that each Legionnaire at whichever level of training, rank or appointment will be perfectly capable to meet the technical standards required in operating in modern military structures and using the newest weapon systems. The Legion will increase the number of Francophone (i.e. French-speaking) recruits.

Thirdly: The Legion will strive to preserve its heritage and assets, both material and immaterial and will continue to set an example within the French Army, always remaining the solid dependable body on which France can rely in all circumstances.

Poster Comment:

OK, so what can we infer from the above:

1. The Legion "head shed", whether as part of a general French Army shake-up or in anticipation of it, has decided that in order to maintain its standing and employability in the 21st Century, it needs to change.

2. It is recognised that the increasing sophistication of weapon and communication systems, together with the digitisation of the battlespace requires that even the "average grunt" has to be fully aware of the greater picture and capable of integrating into the military "network of systems" being established in the French Armed Forces. It is no longer sufficient for a fit young man, who can maintain and operate his individual weapon effectively, to be able to play his part in the modern battlespace; if he only has an extremely limited knowledge of French, a very basic knowledge of individual and section/platoon infantry tactics and has the ability to instantly follow basic orders (and "do a Camerone" if necessary).

3. Legion recruitment needs to concentrate on better educated and brighter individuals with either a good initial command of French or the ability to learn quickly. Initial selection tests will be modified to encompass the above, while maintaining other required parameters such as fitness, alertness, etc.

4. The emphasis on recruiting more French-speakers is noted. If it is to increase the number of actual Frenchmen joining, the Legion is competing against the French Regular Armed Forces, therefore to attract them it must improve its Terms and & Conditions of Service (T&Cs).

5. Changed T&Cs will have to apply to all Legionnaires, not just French Nationals. This will be difficult to balance as the Legion maintains that its "cohesion" and fighting spirit depend on the T&Cs in place for the first five year contract, regarding restriction of privileges that are common in the rest of the French Army, such as having a life not controlled 100% by your Regimental chain of command. It appears that this is unlikely to change much, so there must be other incentives put in place. Perhaps a reduction in (now perceived) unnecessary bullshit will be enforced. It will also strive to preserve its ban on women recruits, arguing as it does at present that "it is already difficult to mould a disparate body of male recruits into Legionnaires, adding females into the mix would make it practically impossible".

5. Basic training for Legionnaires will need to be enhanced and likely lengthened to provide the necessary level of competence required for the modern battlefield. There will be more language training for non-Francophones and more technical training.

6. The Legion is fighting its corner in the French Army and is determined to evolve and maintain its position and prestige, perhaps even to expand if it can.

Personally, I will be watching this development with interest as I can see many problems ahead, but if the Legion can pull this off, it will be well set up for the rest of the 21st Century.
 
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View attachment 380317

In the Kepi Blanc Magazine of March 2019 is a piece by the COMLE" (i.e. GOC Foreign Legion) General Mistral and about his vision for the Legion in 2025 (commented upon here: Ainsi va le monde !: La vision du général Mistral pour la Légion 2025).

View attachment 380315 General Mistral

In summary:

The Legion, notwithstanding its renowned "rusticity", is adapting to new military technologies and practices, just as it has done throughout its history. In 2025, whilst continuing to exemplify its specific attributes within the French Army, the Legion will ensure that all of its personnel remain completely professionally capable and are able to meet modern operational demands.

This aim will be achieved through three concurrent courses of action.

Firstly: Although the Legion will ensure that its systemic coherence and values are maintained, including the legal status of "service as a foreigner"; the "Legion system" seen as "a homeland apart" will change. However the Legion will work to keep the attributes that ensure its cohesion, strength and reputation. The means by which the mission is accomplished will change, but the foundations of the institution will remain.

Secondly: The Legion will ensure that each Legionnaire at whichever level of training, rank or appointment will be perfectly capable to meet the technical standards required in operating in modern military structures and using the newest weapon systems. The Legion will increase the number of Francophone (i.e. French-speaking) recruits.

Thirdly: The Legion will strive to preserve its heritage and assets, both material and immaterial and will continue to set an example within the French Army, always remaining the solid dependable body on which France can rely in all circumstances.

Poster Comment:

OK, so what can we infer from the above:

1. The Legion "head shed", whether as part of a general French Army shake-up or in anticipation of it, has decided that in order to maintain its standing and employability in the 21st Century, it needs to change.

2. It is recognised that the increasing sophistication of weapon and communication systems, together with the digitilisation of the battlespace requires that even the "average grunt" has to be fully aware of the greater picture and capable of integrating into the military "network of systems" being established in the French Armed Forces. It is no longer sufficient for a fit young man, who can maintain and operate his individual weapon effectively, to be able to play his part in the modern battlespace; if he only has an extremely limited knowledge of French, a very basic knowledge of individual and section/platoon infantry tactics and has the ability to instantly follow basic orders (and "do a Camerone" if necessary).

3. Legion recruitment needs to concentrate on better educated and brighter individuals with either a good initial command of French or the ability to learn quickly. Initial selection tests will be modified to encompass the above, while maintaining other required parameters such as fitness, alertness, etc.

4. The emphasis on recruiting more French-speakers is noted. If it is to increase the number of actual Frenchmen joining, the Legion is competing against the French Regular Armed Forces, therefore to attract them it must improve its Terms and & Conditions of Service (T&Cs).

5. Changed T&Cs will have to apply to all Legionnaires, not just French Nationals. This will be difficult to balance as the Legion maintains that its "cohesion" and fighting spirit depend on the T&Cs in place for the first five year contract, regarding restriction of privileges that are common in the rest of the French Army, such as having a life not controlled 100% by your Regimental chain of command. It appears that this is unlikely to change much, so there must be other incentives put in place. Perhaps a reduction in (now perceived) unnecessary bullshit will be enforced. It will also strive to preserve its ban on women recruits, arguing as it does at present that "it is already difficult to mould a disparate body of male recruits into Legionnaires, adding females into the mix would make it practically impossible".

5. Basic training for Legionnaires will need to be enhanced and likely lengthened to provide the necessary level of competence required for the modern battlefield. There will be more language training for non-Francophones and more technical training.

6. The Legion is fighting its corner in the French Army and is determined to evolve and maintain its position and prestige, perhaps even to expand if it can.

Personally, I will be watching this development with interest as I can see many problems ahead, but if the Legion can pull this off, it will be well set up for the rest of the 21st Century.
A lot of the, "unnecessary bullshit" (as you call it) has gone. I call it necessary bull. Like for instance going out in uniform for the first five years or, more importantly, having the soldiers clean their rooms and passing room inspections. Last Camerone we were being shown around the 2°Company in 2°REI by the OA. He was proud of how it had been improved. He showed us the offices, the corridors with excellent decorations, the Bureau de Semaine, the conference room and the club company. All spiffing and spotlessly clean. Then we asked if we could see the lads rooms, to measure the difference between "then" and "now". He had the honesty to blush, tried to make up some excuse about the lads being all at work so the rooms would be locked. Then we bumped into the Adj Cie who told us the truth. Since room inspections had been abolished the rooms were in shit state and they were ashamed to show them to us. I didn't think that I'd ever see the day. When I was an instructor in 4°RE we had to teach most recruits basic hygiene. They needed to be guided. This is not "unnecessary bullshit". The "Chef de Chambre" is missing from the chain of command. Agreed that fùcking the blokes about just to keep them busy needs to be knocked on the head, but there is some stuff, considered to be unnecessary bullshit, that is actually quite necessary, due to the specific origins of some of the Légion recruits. Rant over.
 
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A lot of the, "unnecessary bullshit" (as you call it) has gone. I call it necessary bull. Like for instance going out in uniform for the first five years or, more importantly, having the soldiers clean their rooms and passing room inspections. Last Camerone we were being shown around the 2°Company in 2°REI by the OA. He was proud of how it had been improved. He showed us the offices, the corridors with excellent decorations, the Bureau de Semaine, the conference room and the club company. All spiffing and spotlessly clean. Then we asked if we could see the lads rooms, to measure the difference between "then" and "now". He had the honesty to blush, tried to make up some excuse about the lads being all at work so the rooms would be locked. Then we bumped into the Adj Cie who told us the truth. Since room inspections had been abolished the rooms were in shit state and they were ashamed to show them to us. I didn't think that I'd ever see the day. When I was an instructor in 4°RE we had to teach most recruits basic hygiene. They needed to be guided. This is not "unnecessary bullshit". The "Chef de Chambre" is missing from the chain of command. Agreed that fùcking the blokes about just to keep them busy needs to be knocked on the head, but there is some stuff, considered to be unnecessary bullshit, that is actually quite necessary, due to the specific origins of some of the Légion recruits. Rant over.
@Egg Banjo - Hi EB, note that I actually wrote "(now perceived) unnecessary bullshit" and I did not define what it was. It will be for the powers that be to define. Interesting to see that you zeroed in on something specific of your own experience. I would agree that keeping the junior ranks shared accommodation in good order is not "unnecessary bullshit".

I was hoping for some rather more encompassing discussion. ;-)
 
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Some extra info on the content of my post https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/t...pare-to-the-british-paras.161040/post-9126333 has been published on the web (unfortunately for non-Francophones it is only in French):

Le front haut et l’âme fière, marchant du pas de nos anciens vers une Légion étrangère 2025.

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The above refers to:
https://www.defense.gouv.fr/fre/terre/equipements/scorpion/scorpion/scorpion2/presentation2

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https://www.legion-etrangere.com/mdl_media/video/vers-une-legion-etrangere-2025.mp4

In his speech in the above video clip, General Mistral expands a bit verbally on what he wrote in Kepi Blanc Magazine.

He mentions that service "a titre etranger" (i.e. under foreign status), as all persons enlisting in the Foreign Legion currently serve, will remain and that it necessitates the acceptance of certain constraints in order to maintain security and cohesion. But he emphasises that certain rules and regulations will be changed in order that foreigners volunteering to bear arms for France remain proud of their choice and that their position is not trivialised.

My Comment: As I mentioned before, there some of the (now perceived as unnecessary) bullshit is likely to be cut.

He also states that as of 2019 there will be an effort to recruit more French speakers into the Legion and emphasises that contrary to popular belief, the Legion has always been open to Frenchmen.

My Comment: It will be interesting to see how the Regular French Army, particularly the "Troupes de Marine" and the Airborne regiments react to the Legion competing for the same (diminishing) pool of volunteer recruits.

One very interesting thing that he mentions (and which I did not cover in my previous post on this subject) is that in order to make the initial Legion contract more interesting, the Legion aims to enable any Legionnaire wishing to obtain a long term posting abroad (i.e not short rotational tours of a few months with sub-units deploying from mainland-France based regiments, but a longer posting of up to two years to a unit based overseas) to fulfil ther aspiration.

My Comment: What does this mean in practice? When I was serving in the early-to-mid eighties, 13 DBLE (Djibouti) , 5 RE (French Polynesia) 3 REI (French Guyana) and DLEM (Mayotte) were all in existence and it was much easier (though still not guaranteed) to get a long-term posting abroad. Now only the latter two remain. Are 3 REI and DLEM going to be expanded? Is the Legion going to have extra regiments permanently based abroad? Will some "Troupes de Marine" regiments based abroad become "Regiments Mixtes" and have permanent Legion sub-units included in their Orbats? I hope that there may be a mix of all the above.

Another infographic on the above from the Legion's official Facebook page:
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Now, what about 2 REP in regards to all the above? Well, as the Legion changes so it will have to change, but it is always seen as the last to drop "old traditions".

However vis-a-vis the transformation of French combat units under the "Scorpion" system, it will be interesting to see how this will apply to units such as 2 REP whose primary function is "light role" parachutable quick intervention forces. 2 REP can (and does) already operationally deploy in a "heavier role" as a VAB based infantry unit and the VAB is being replaced by Griffon. But for the "light role" how is all the new comms kit and weaponry going to be made man-portable?
 
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It would appear that the French have got their sh1t together regarding this "Scorpion" programme. for the French Army and it is being put in place in an integrated manner and working towards a fully networked and digitised battlespace. I have not been following these developments in general either in the French Army or the British; but I am led to believe that the British approach to something similar has stumbled somewhat due to various reasons, notably budget cuts. I have also read that the Americans were trying to develop something very ambitious in this regard, but it has also faltered due to enormous expense.

This has not been an area of interest for me, but my curiosity was piqued by how the Legion is adapting to the new French programme. Am I right in assuming that the French appear appear to be stealing a march in this matter on their biggest NATO allies?
 
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View attachment 380317

In the Kepi Blanc Magazine of March 2019 is a piece by the COMLE" (i.e. GOC Foreign Legion) General Mistral and about his vision for the Legion in 2025 (commented upon here: Ainsi va le monde !: La vision du général Mistral pour la Légion 2025).

View attachment 380315 General Mistral

In summary:

The Legion, notwithstanding its renowned "rusticity", is adapting to new military technologies and practices, just as it has done throughout its history. In 2025, whilst continuing to exemplify its specific attributes within the French Army, the Legion will ensure that all of its personnel remain completely professionally capable and are able to meet modern operational demands.

This aim will be achieved through three concurrent courses of action.

Firstly: Although the Legion will ensure that its systemic coherence and values are maintained, including the legal status of "service as a foreigner"; the "Legion system" seen as "a homeland apart" will change. However the Legion will work to keep the attributes that ensure its cohesion, strength and reputation. The means by which the mission is accomplished will change, but the foundations of the institution will remain.

Secondly: The Legion will ensure that each Legionnaire at whichever level of training, rank or appointment will be perfectly capable to meet the technical standards required in operating in modern military structures and using the newest weapon systems. The Legion will increase the number of Francophone (i.e. French-speaking) recruits.

Thirdly: The Legion will strive to preserve its heritage and assets, both material and immaterial and will continue to set an example within the French Army, always remaining the solid dependable body on which France can rely in all circumstances.

Poster Comment:

OK, so what can we infer from the above:

1. The Legion "head shed", whether as part of a general French Army shake-up or in anticipation of it, has decided that in order to maintain its standing and employability in the 21st Century, it needs to change.

2. It is recognised that the increasing sophistication of weapon and communication systems, together with the digitisation of the battlespace requires that even the "average grunt" has to be fully aware of the greater picture and capable of integrating into the military "network of systems" being established in the French Armed Forces. It is no longer sufficient for a fit young man, who can maintain and operate his individual weapon effectively, to be able to play his part in the modern battlespace; if he only has an extremely limited knowledge of French, a very basic knowledge of individual and section/platoon infantry tactics and has the ability to instantly follow basic orders (and "do a Camerone" if necessary).

3. Legion recruitment needs to concentrate on better educated and brighter individuals with either a good initial command of French or the ability to learn quickly. Initial selection tests will be modified to encompass the above, while maintaining other required parameters such as fitness, alertness, etc.

4. The emphasis on recruiting more French-speakers is noted. If it is to increase the number of actual Frenchmen joining, the Legion is competing against the French Regular Armed Forces, therefore to attract them it must improve its Terms and & Conditions of Service (T&Cs).

5. Changed T&Cs will have to apply to all Legionnaires, not just French Nationals. This will be difficult to balance as the Legion maintains that its "cohesion" and fighting spirit depend on the T&Cs in place for the first five year contract, regarding restriction of privileges that are common in the rest of the French Army, such as having a life not controlled 100% by your Regimental chain of command. It appears that this is unlikely to change much, so there must be other incentives put in place. Perhaps a reduction in (now perceived) unnecessary bullshit will be enforced. It will also strive to preserve its ban on women recruits, arguing as it does at present that "it is already difficult to mould a disparate body of male recruits into Legionnaires, adding females into the mix would make it practically impossible".

5. Basic training for Legionnaires will need to be enhanced and likely lengthened to provide the necessary level of competence required for the modern battlefield. There will be more language training for non-Francophones and more technical training.

6. The Legion is fighting its corner in the French Army and is determined to evolve and maintain its position and prestige, perhaps even to expand if it can.

Personally, I will be watching this development with interest as I can see many problems ahead, but if the Legion can pull this off, it will be well set up for the rest of the 21st Century.

This is 2 REI. (FR 2 and to be replaced by the HK 417 if i have heard right (wont confirm ..check the ID on the VBCI
The scope is new to me
Later, you asked what brevet the caporal from 2 REI was wearing : i belive this is (not cettain) the new stage Scorpion, that evry driver / chef d' équipe and groupe must pass. Gold, Silver and Bronze.
Because of the dispositif, the driver / radio/ chef d ' équipe and groupe have much more in common in their fonctions.
I have heard that the stage includes, for a pilote, more topo, trans and Tir. ..once i find out more, will tell more
Bientôt Camerone
 
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It would appear that the French have got their sh1t together regarding this "Scorpion" programme. for the French Army and it is being put in place in an integrated manner and working towards a fully networked and digitised battlespace. I have not been following these developments in general either in the French Army or the British; but I am led to believe that the British approach to something similar has stumbled somewhat due to various reasons, notably budget cuts. I have also read that the Americans were trying to develop something very ambitious in this regard, but it has also faltered due to enormous expense.

This has not been an area of interest for me, but my curiosity was piqued by how the Legion is adapting to the new French programme. Am I right in assuming that the French appear appear to be stealing a march in this matter on their biggest NATO allies?
Well.... ish. The design is certainly ambitious and, if it all works, it'll be a fantastic enabler and force multiplier. The devil, of course, as always, is in the detail and the FR track record in real cutting-edge high tech isn't brilliant. The US, UK and others are working on similar 'systems of systems' and have found a number of tech poo traps - and, of course, there's an issue overall of vulnerability of any system reliant on the EM spectrum to attacks using or denying the EM spectrum. Conceivably the French have sorted themselves out in terms of EW since my day, but, if not, they're way behind the curve.
 
Well.... ish. The design is certainly ambitious and, if it all works, it'll be a fantastic enabler and force multiplier. The devil, of course, as always, is in the detail and the FR track record in real cutting-edge high tech isn't brilliant. The US, UK and others are working on similar 'systems of systems' and have found a number of tech poo traps - and, of course, there's an issue overall of vulnerability of any system reliant on the EM spectrum to attacks using or denying the EM spectrum. Conceivably the French have sorted themselves out in terms of EW since my day, but, if not, they're way behind the curve.
It appears that they seemed to have a slow, methodical and coordinated approach to the Scorpion programme which as been progressing well for about fifteen years without any of the stop-start-changes over this side of the channel and further across the pond.

As regards EM spectrum vulnerabilities, the French are quite good at "rusticity" and not overly relying on kit in case it fails.

The RITA comms/data network when brought in was supposedly pretty good for its time I remember.
 
It appears that they seemed to have a slow, methodical and coordinated approach to the Scorpion programme which as been progressing well for about fifteen years without any of the stop-start-changes over this side of the channel and further across the pond.

As regards EM spectrum vulnerabilities, the French are quite good at "rusticity" and not overly relying on kit in case it fails.

The RITA comms/data network when brought in was supposedly pretty good for its time I remember.
Mmm. The problem with a system like SCORPIONE is that, once it's in and TTPs are adjusted to reflect the extra capacity and capability it brings with it, rusticity is tricky to revert to. Ask any American what his life is like if Blue Force tracker goes down, for example.

RITA was an OK area trunk communications system, but was subject to all the same vulnerabilities and technical issues as the allied counterparts, just more so as it was based on a much narrower R&D base.

I'm not having a pop here, the French approach works exceptionally well for what it's intended to do - project power in the Francophonie and stiffen local allies to maintain French influence and commercial engagement, largely in West Africa - but, despite the undoubted genius at improvisation of the Troupes de Marine and Legion and selected Regular Army units, the French Army isn't really in the high-tech heavy metal space any more (not that we're much better).
 
Mmm. The problem with a system like SCORPIONE is that, once it's in and TTPs are adjusted to reflect the extra capacity and capability it brings with it, rusticity is tricky to revert to. Ask any American what his life is like if Blue Force tracker goes down, for example.

RITA was an OK area trunk communications system, but was subject to all the same vulnerabilities and technical issues as the allied counterparts, just more so as it was based on a much narrower R&D base.

I'm not having a pop here, the French approach works exceptionally well for what it's intended to do - project power in the Francophonie and stiffen local allies to maintain French influence and commercial engagement, largely in West Africa - but, despite the undoubted genius at improvisation of the Troupes de Marine and Legion and selected Regular Army units, the French Army isn't really in the high-tech heavy metal space any more (not that we're much better).
@Glad_its_all_over : Thank-you for your time and your detailed reply. As I said, this field is a very slight side interest for me and I am not too well informed on it. I just hit upon this subject as the Legion is now adapting itself to operating in this new techno-electronic, connected world.
 
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Brevet équipage élite AMX 10RC
 
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Each of the five rifle companies (French: "compagnies de combat") in 2 REP has an intrinsic support platoon (French: "section") which includes a mortar section (French: "groupe") of two 81mm mortars which have a 5,600m max range and are parachutable and man-portable. The tubes are each crewed by a team of five men.

As the tactical situation demands, these company held mortars can be regrouped at ("GTIA") deployed battlegroup level.
 
At 2 REP's Camp Raffalli, there is a memorial to the 1300 or so Legion Partroopers who have died on active service since 1948.
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(Pictures from the regimental twitter feed)
 

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