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

From the official 2 REP Twitter Feed: A member of the GCP [Groupement Commando Parachutiste], (2 REP's Pathfinder Platoon and recognised as a Tier 2 SF unit) packs his own parachute prior to a jump.
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On his right sleeve can be seen the subdued tactical patch of the GCP - this is the badge of all the GCP units in each of the parachute regiments of the (French) 11th Parachute Brigade (11eme BP). Operationally, they can be used individually by their respective regiments or can be used collectively as a Brigade asset. 2 REP's GCP platoon is the largest of all the GCP units in the 11eme BP.

The non-tactical badge is brightly coloured:
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Note that the thin green line signifies the presence of Foreign Legion troops.

On the left sleeve above the subdued French tricolour can be seen the subdued rank badge of a Lieutenant:
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Therefore it can be deduced that the picture is of the commander of 2 REP's GCP platoon, as there would only be one officer of that rank in it.
 
A recent video (in French) on a Stage d'Aguerrissement en Montagne / Mountain Initial Qualification Course for the 3rd Section, 2nd Company of the 1st REG)

This 3 week training course held in Modane in the Alps aims to provide an exposure to the realities of mountain warfare for units not belonging to the 27 Mountain Infantry Brigade.
 
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A recent video (in French) on a Stage d'Aguerrissement en Montagne / Mountain Initial Qualification Course for the 3rd Section, 2nd Company of the 1st REG)

This 3 week training course held in Modane in the Alps aims to provide an exposure to the realities of mountain warfare for units not belonging to the 27 Mountain Infantry Brigade.
Just a quick note to restate that the word "Section" in the French Army denotes the equivalent of a UK "Platoon" size unit. French cavalry (armoured) units use the word "Peloton" to denote what would be called a "Troop" in the equivalent British unit. What in the British Army would be called a "Section" is called a "Groupe" in the French Army which can be further subdivided into "Equipes".
 
After completion of four months basic training at 4 RE in Castelnaudary, those Legionnaires that have volunteered for and been accepted for a posting to 2 REP return to Aubagne from where they will transit (usually overnight Sat-Sun) by ship from Marseille to Corsica. Their first sight of the "Ile de Beaute" as it is nicknamed will be from shipboard. Pictures below taken from the official 2 REP facebook page:
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Then, upon arrival, they will undertake the "Promotion de Saut" or "Promo"; i.e. the basic parachute jump course. Comprised of ground parachute training, fitness training and testing and six jumps including one deploying the reserve parachute and the last two fully equipped with one of them at night. 2 REP is the only French parachute unit to undertake its own parachute training course in Calvi. All the rest send their trainees to ETAP, the French School of Airborne Troops in Pau.
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Those passing the "Promo" go on parade to receive their wings and the two lanyards, a red one and a white and red one, together denoting the total of regimental citations awarded to 2 REP. Only then are they full members of the Regiment and are posted to one of the Companies as required by the prevailing manpower needs.
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2 REP's celebration of Camerone is fast approaching:
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Rendez-vous le 29 avril pour fêter Camerone avec les légionnaires parachutistes ! Kermesse ouverte au public : 12h00-23h00 le 29 avril et 11h00-22h00 le 1er mai.

While the day itself is reserved for the official ceremony; there is a fair and public open days on 29 April 12h00-23h00 and 01 May 11h00-22h00 as advertised locally and on the Regimental twitter feed.

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2 REP's celebration of Camerone is fast approaching:
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Rendez-vous le 29 avril pour fêter Camerone avec les légionnaires parachutistes ! Kermesse ouverte au public : 12h00-23h00 le 29 avril et 11h00-22h00 le 1er mai.

While the day itself is reserved for the official ceremony; there is a fair and public open days on 29 April 12h00-23h00 and 01 May 11h00-22h00 as advertised locally and on the Regimental twitter feed.

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So is the Camerone commemoration of the rest of the FFL.
I'll be at Nîmes as Aubagne is simply mobbed. They expect over 10,000 visitors each day at Aubagne. If you are driving, then you need to get there in the wee small hours to find a place to park the car.
 
RIP "Jacko".
Former British Army Paratrooper former REP Man.
A big man with a big heart and solid principles.
Taken too soon.
Councillor dies after cycling crash
Jacko's funeral is on the fourth of May in St Michael 's church, Aberystwyth.
We lost two members of the the FLA GB (and FLOG) the same day. Paul Mc Keown passed away on that day, too. He had his third open heart surgery and it seems that it was one too many.
RIP Lads. See you at the last bivouac.
 
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Nice picture of "The Reds" (Second Company of 2 REP) in training. Taken from the Regimental Twitter feed.
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I'm off on a bit of a tangent here, but a mate just sent me the following picture. For those of you that were not aware, in WW1 the French had troops on the ground in the Gallipolli campaign as well; among which the Foreign Legion was also represented:
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Source:
Corps Expeditionaire d'Orient (CEO, AFO) during the Gallipoli Campaign.
Soldiers of the French Foreign Legion on the front line in a trench within 30 meters of the Turks - Dardanelles, Ottoman Empire, April 1915 - January 1916
(Photo source - IWM Q 13502)
(Color by Anthony Malesys‎)
Colorful History: Colorizations by Anthony Malesys
 
Just found a picture on Pinterest of a 2 REP 3rd Company comrade in Beirut in Aug '82:
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He was the "tireur d'elite" (sharpshooter) in one of the "groupes" (i.e. UK sections) in our "section" (i.e. UK platoon).
 
2 REP's Third (Amphibious) Company is still currently on rotational tour supplying the parachute company for the French unit permanently based in New Caledonia - RIMa-P (NC) which stands for Regiment d'Infanterie de Marine - Pacifique (Nouvelle Caledonie). Some more pictures were posted after completion of an "Stage d'Aguerissement" (roughly translated as "a course of battle-hardening"). These are physically tough courses involving endurance, physical fitness and the accomplishment of commando-type tasks.
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The badge awarded is displayed on the left breast of the Legionnaire pictured above, It is similar to the French Commando course badge.

A platoon at a time would usually complete this course, while the rest of the (four) rifle platoons in the company would be engaged on other tasks in support of the local Command.
Back in the late 80's every so often the French would run a Commando Course in Germany, down south somewhere near their HQ in Baden Baden. They would be an invite out to the various NATO nations in Germany and they would in their turn send along a platoon sized lump of men for the course and at the end the insignia was awarded and much wine was said to flow.
 
Back in the late 80's every so often the French would run a Commando Course in Germany, down south somewhere near their HQ in Baden Baden. They would be an invite out to the various NATO nations in Germany and they would in their turn send along a platoon sized lump of men for the course and at the end the insignia was awarded and much wine was said to flow.
Did it include an opportunity to experience strangulation? ISTR it featuring in a Soldier article about UK troops doing such a course.
 
Did it include an opportunity to experience strangulation? ISTR it featuring in a Soldier article about UK troops doing such a course.
I never got to go, tried, boy did I try, the officer arranging those things in BAOR was a para and had, shall we say, a little bias towards members of which regiment who attended such things.
 
My old mob "Les Noirs", the Third Company of 2 REP, (known in the mid-eighties as the "Third Herd" as there were lots of English speakers in the Regiment at the time and a high percentage in the company) has just come back from a four month tour in New Caledonia, on time to celebrate Camerone with the rest of the Regiment, before getting some leave in.

It is traditional to return to base marching and singing. Here follows a clip where they are singing the Company song - "La Petite Piste" on the way to the 3rd Company building and parade square on Camp Raffalli via the front of the Regimental HQ Building where usually the Commanding Officer of the Regiment will take the salute. The "Commandant Compagnie" (Officer Commanding the company, which in the French Army is a Captain's post) is leading followed by all the black kepi wearing senior cadres (the Officers and "Sous-Officiers" and top two tiers of "Caporaux-Chefs"), then the other two tiers of Caporaux-Chefs (gold strap around the fron of the white kepi) and then the rest of the "Hommes du Rang"*:

(From the Regimental facebook page)

The Legion is the sole remaining French military organisation to use the term "Homme du Rang" (HdR) or "men of the rank", i.e. "rankers" as there are no females in the ranks. In the rest of the French forces the term "Militaire du Rang" (MdR) is used.
 
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A bit of history!

Before 2 REP arrived at Camp Raffalli in Calvi on Corsica (in fact before it was even called Camp Raffalli, just named after the adjacent seasonal river called the "Fiume Secco" or "Dry River" in the Corsican dialect); it was home to a French SF parachute unit called 1ere Bataillon Parachutiste de Choc or 1 BPC (1st Shock Parachute Batallion) more commonly called "Premier Choc". It was disbanded in 1963 after the Algerian War and 2 REP established a training centre and parachuting school at its former camp, before moving in completely as a regiment in 1967 when it finally left Algeria.

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Parade Square in 1962. The Regimental HQ building (behind the flagpole) was the same one-storey edifice when I was there twenty years later. Since replaced by a bigger building. The accommodation blocks to the right (1st & 2nd Company) have not changed much. The flagpole has moved to the next to the regimental crest in the foreground (now replaced by 2 REP's triangular badge) and in it's place stands the Regimental "Monument aux Morts". The photo appears to have been taken from the top of the water tower which still remains near the main gate.

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1er Choc freefallers prior to a jump.
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And in the air above Calvi Citadel.
2 REP's GCP still continues the tradition in the same vein.

Water jump into Calvi Bay at about the same time:
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Calvi DZ in 1962. The big (yellow) hanger and the building with the tower (a parachute maintenance and packing centre) are still there. The hanger even then, was already a leftover from the previous use of this site as an airfield: Forgotten airfields.

Dropping on Calvi DZ further to the south-west with the main part of the camp visible:
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I also remember seeing a picture from the 50's or 60's of the old confidence course in and around Fort Charlet above Calvi town (still used when I was there in the eighties - now disused and replaced by a purpose-built trainaisium-style confidence course behind the camp) in one of Tony Geraghty's books about the SAS. They apparently cross-trained with this French unit at the time.

The Camp and DZ now for comparison purposes:
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