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

Papa Fox

Old-Salt
 

Papa Fox

Old-Salt
 
Up to 80 paratroopers would have jumped from both doors at the same time (2x40) recently according to the source below

Thank you for the information. So the air-deflector things seen at the doors have made the difference. It was a bit worrying that the 'new' main transport-aircraft couldn't actually drop troops!
 
Up to 80 paratroopers would have jumped from both doors at the same time (2x40) recently according to the source below

Thank you for the information. So the air-deflector things seen at the doors have made the difference. It was a bit worrying that the 'new' main transport-aircraft couldn't actually drop troops!
Reading between the lines, it seems that the full certification was carried out subsequent to the visit of an A400M to Calvi for a trial run of test jumps by 2 REP personnel (as speculated upon in one of my previous posts).

Looking forward to the full certification next year for dropping a complete load of 116 fully laden paras via the side doors (2 x 58 ) and to the first operational drop of this type (hopefully by 2 REP).
 
The jump seen above, in #5813, was freefall off the ramp. Does anyone know if the slipstream 'problems' with the more normal use of the side-doors been solved yet? Or maybe it's one door only, or ??
It is easier to guarantee a stable exit from a tailgate than a side door, especially when carrying lots of kit.
You can get more people out quicker, which means keeping the group less separated, relevant to higher altitude freefall jumps .
 
It is easier to guarantee a stable exit from a tailgate than a side door, especially when carrying lots of kit.
You can get more people out quicker, which means keeping the group less separated, relevant to higher altitude freefall jumps .
Yes, but on static line you get more out if both side doors are used.
 
Yes, but on static line you get more out if both side doors are used.
Sort of.
In low level, static line jumping the parachutes are opening almost instantly.
For safety reasons exiting from opposite doors, in a sequence LRLRLR etc almost guarantees sufficient separation for canopy opening, without spreading people out too much.
 
The French Army is going through a modernisation process, which involves the adoption and use of much technically advanced equipment and battlefield digitisation. It has also had a recent increase in size in its combat units which necessitated an increase in recruitment in both quantity and quality. The French Army's previous Chief of the General Staff, General Bosser a former Regular Paratrooper, emphasised that this needed to be achieved without a loss of "fighting spirit".

The Foreign Legion's Commander, General Mistral identified that Legionnaires had to be capable of operating this advanced equipment in the French Language and that necessitated the recruitment of a higher percentage of native French speakers, in order to improve the learning rate and level of non-French speaking recruits and that this also had to be done without a dilution of the Legion's well-established "rusticity", endurance, aggression and "can-do / make-do" mentality. (Covered in a previous post).

There is some angst in the Regular French Army about toning down training and "mollycoddling" the recruits. This has led to some anonymous "leaks" to the Press - most recently in Le Point (Armée : avec les recrues de la génération Sentinelle).

The Foreign Legion is determined to preserve its separate "esprit de corps" and appears to be aiming to attract the French speakers that are searching for something special and thus would accept greater physical and mental burdens placed upon them by the Foreign Legion.

In this month's Kepi Blanc (the Foreign Legion magazine), there is an editorial from General Mistral, GOC Foreign Legion in which he explains "The Foundations Of Our System" (Les fondements de notre système) (Translation follows):


Here is a quick personal translation with some additions for clarity (apologies for any errors/inconsistencies) :

The Foundations Of Our System

"The Foreign Legion Factory", is a singular system based on four principal pillars: The moulding of the legionnaire, the training of the soldier, the employment of the combattant and the support of the veteran. Egalitarian selection (of recruit volunteers), amalgamation (of personnel), life in proximity to one's comrades), values, commitment, fraternity, selflessness ... everything is reviewed in the latest Képi Blanc Magazine!

France made the choice, one hundred and eighty-eight years ago, to acquire a Foreign Legion by virtue of a law authorising foreigners from five continents to bear arms in peacetime. Neither the fundamentals nor the principal themes (of this) have been questioned since. The Legion is a particular "French exceptionality" and it is globally unique, integrated and intimately attached to the (French) Army

What characterises the Foreign Legion above all else is its cohesion which it demonstrates in front of the (French) Chief of the Defence Staff and the French people when during every July 14 Parade, it wheels in a solid block without splitting itself in front of the Presidential dais (Comment: uniquely of all participating formations). This spirit of cohesion should not be viewed as an arrogant expression of the quality of the troops and their self-belief in their capabilities, but as the guarantee that all the foreigners within it will pass the test of loyalty to the Legion Colours and therefore, to the French flag (and will put those) before their own national self-interests which are as varied as the one hundred and forty-seven nationalities present today.

This month's issue of the Kepi Blanc magazine is given over to the foundations of this cohesion, developed through a specific "Legion system" which is based on four main pillars: The moulding of the legionnaire, the training of the soldier, the employment of the combattant and the support of the veteran.

Moulding the Legionnaire.

A combat force, the Foreign Legion bases the selection of its candidates for recruitment on the strict physical, medical and psychological criteria of the infantry branch of the French Army. Once selected, the recruits are sent to the 4th Foreign Regiment at Castelnaudary, the school and the crucible of the Institution (of the Foreign Legion). It is there that they will truly find out if they have got what it takes to be made into a legionnaire. Discipline is severe, free time is non-existant, life in cosntant proximity to ones peers is constant: it is a question of amalgamating these very different men, sometimes complete opposites and to transform their mutual antagonisms into a sense of military fraternity. Initially grouped together for five weeks at an isolated "farm", the future legionnaires are essentially stripped bare: During this time they have to forget (Comment: forego their attachments) to their countries, family, friends, personal belongings, mobile phones, (etc.) and they are given no choice but to turn to one another, to jointly overcome both their individual and collective trials and tribulations that are thrown at them and to which they are not accustomed. It is in the difficulties and harshness of these first steps that the esteem of the other, whatever his nationality or his religion and thus friendship in the fraternity of arms, arises. It is at the end of this period at the farm, under the pressure and the demanding eyes of the instructors and after the test of the "Kepi Blanc" March, that the volunteer recruit dons the famous kepi, thus becoming a Legionnaire.

Training the Soldier.

The training of the soldier is what the next three months of basic training at Castelnaudary are devoted to. This instruction is based on three main principles: equal opportunities, hard work and merit. Focused on learning the French language, infantry combat skills and French military ethos, the trainees know that a posting to the regiment of their choice will depend on their results. It is there too that they learn that the fundamental tenets of French life and military procedures override any (former) national specifics in command-style, in daily life or in combat.

Concentrating on the acquisition of their first five hundred words of French indispensable to their integration and their execution of orders, the trainee Legionnaires have no choice but to tirelessly practice their basic combat skills, their tolerance of their peer group and their reciprocal mutual aid. Thus realising and proving that their collective strength is greater than the sum of their individualities. Upon completion of their training and their final test results, they are able to be posted to a combat unit in one of the Foreign Legion's eight operational regiments.

Employing the Combattant

These regiments place Legionnaires as combattants in units where the youngest are welcomed by the most seasoned. The amalgamation of nationalities is now followed by a generational amalgamation. The experienced Legionnaire now mentors the novice. Some Legionnaires, after a mandatory period in a combat unit, will be able to acquire a specialisation that will influence their career path but that will never be exclusively specialists because first and foremost they will always remain combat soldiers. Service in the Legion will lead Legionnaires to make frequent attachments and postings between their combat units and the administrative units (1st RE, 4th RE, GRLE) and specialised positions . On operations, they will rub shoulders with their brothers in arms of the French Army and fight alongside them. Gaining seniority and expertise, they will go on professional courses alongside their French service comrades. During thir career according to their abiliities, they will be able to apply for the more specialist combat functions such as: Paratrooper Commandos (GCP), Mountain Commandos (GCM), Divers, Demining/Ordnance Disposal, etc. Always available for rapid deployment, Legionnaires know that France may need them for immediate action. Operation Bonite, in Kolwezi in 1978, is well anchored in the collective memory and since then there has not been a lack of operational opportunity.

Supporting the Veteran.

Lastly, France recognises the service of its Legionnaires. They are entitled to benefit from the support and facilities of the Foreign Legion's support network through the "Foyer d'Entraide" (translates as "the home of mutual help"). This latter exercises daily active solidarity for the benefit of all Legion servicemen, young or old, serving or having served under foreign status. The Institution of Invalids of the Foreign Legion at Puyloubier is a cornerstone of this support.



Brigadier General Denis Mistral,
Commander of the Foreign Legion
(Editorial of the magazine Képi-blanc N ° 825)

View attachment 432750
I agree with the majority of this but the "supporting the veteran" bit is a crock of shit. As the French saying goes, "if you need nothing, you only have to ask". Still proud of my 19 year career in the FFL and my statute of "ancien Légionnaire".
 
Emphasising the fact that the Legion is trying to recruit more French natives, the following advertisement has recently been published:
View attachment 434710
The FOREIGN LEGION​
Recruiters inform you that:​
Frenchmen cannot join - False​
It is comprised completely of criminals - False​
Physical ability needs to be exceptional - False​
Recruitment process takes 21 days - True​
And in case you haven't got all the information?​
- Frenchmen can join. They currently man above 10% of the Legion strength and are essential to its functionality.​
- The Legion recruits between the ages of 17 to 40 without any need for an educational attainment certificate.​
- The selection process lasts about three weeks and is composed of mental, medical and physical tests.​
- Our vocation since 1831: Creating professional soldiers.​
Rebrand yourself, change your life and become part of the elite.​


For Frenchmen, the Legion does offer some recruiting advantages over the French Regular Army.
Minor criminal convictions are not a bar to recruitment in the Legion.
The French Regular Army only recruits up to age thirty.
The French Regular Army requires a certificate of completion of secondary level education.
The French Regular Army recruitment process can be quite long, slow and laborious
(Though nowhere near the current painful British Army process.)

There seems to be a shrinking pool of volunteer recruits to the French Armed Forces (Army in particular). The Legion is likely to be accursed of unfairly fishing in the Regular Army's pool.
Frenchmen change nationality to join the FFL, therefore technically, there are no Frenchmen signed up to serve in the FFL. There are however frenchmen who serve after the regularisation of their military situation, which is the procedure all Legionnaires go through to reclaim their real identity (after the requisite length of service).
 
I agree with the majority of this but the "supporting the veteran" bit is a crock of shit. As the French saying goes, "if you need nothing, you only have to ask". Still proud of my 19 year career in the FFL and my statute of "ancien Légionnaire".
I never asked, as I have never needed; so I am not qualified to comment personally. However, from what I have heard, the French in general look after their veterans better than the Brits.
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
Sort of.
In low level, static line jumping the parachutes are opening almost instantly.
For safety reasons exiting from opposite doors, in a sequence LRLRLR etc almost guarantees sufficient separation for canopy opening, without spreading people out too much.
That's the theory.
Practice is very often different.
 
That's the theory.
Practice is very often different.
Indeed, losing sequencing being a prime example.
Looking back, I remember that after the initial jumps course, in 2 REP, most jumps were just out of the doors as fast as possible. But in my time, we only jumped out of the Noratlas and the Transall C-160 as well as the Super Frelon and Puma helicopters
 
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Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
Looking back, I remember that after the initial jumps course, in 2 REP, most jumps were just out of the doors as fast as possible.
Yep, the SADF ones too.

Sequencing gone from Flossie or Transall, never much of a problem on Daks.
 
Looking back, I remember that after the initial jumps course, in 2 REP, most jumps were just out of the doors as fast as possible.
I can conceive of situations where " Get them out as fast as possible" makes sense and worth increasing the risk of collisions in the slipstream and/or canopy entanglements.
I have on one occaision found myself uncomfortably close on canopy opening, but don't think it was RAF PJI policy to just go for it without trying to maintain sequence.
 
I can conceive of situations where " Get them out as fast as possible" makes sense and worth increasing the risk of collisions in the slipstream and/or canopy entanglements.
I have on one occaision found myself uncomfortably close on canopy opening, but don't think it was RAF PJI policy to just go for it without trying to maintain sequence.
Firstly, 2 REP and the French Regular Para Regiments all have their own dispatchers/PJI's. The boys in blue fly the planes, the cargo/pax are controlled and dropped by the boys in green. In the REP they carry out the initial parachute training as well.

Secondly, out of sixty-six jumps in five years, I had twists a few times, air steals a couple and rigging line entanglements once. Dealt with it, no major issues, landed ok each time. Only once did I have an accident when I got concussion and temporary amnesia upon hitting the back of my head on a rock on landing and rolling.
 
I never asked, as I have never needed; so I am not qualified to comment personally. However, from what I have heard, the French in general look after their veterans better than the Brits.
From personal experience it's pretty much the same, virtually none existent. It used to be traditional in the FFL but has fallen by the wayside. I asked and got no help whatsoever. A shock to the system. Solidarity, yes, but between mates, brothers at arms, not in the "Grand Famille". Its become a myth.
 
From personal experience it's pretty much the same, virtually none existent. It used to be traditional in the FFL but has fallen by the wayside. I asked and got no help whatsoever. A shock to the system. Solidarity, yes, but between mates, brothers at arms, not in the "Grand Famille". Its become a myth.
Thanks for that - maybe General Mistral quoted it as an aim/aspiration to improve it.
 
The FFL are majority made up of foreigners minus the officers so I imagine they don't turn tail in a battle and leg it, and a white flag isn't part of issued kit
 

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