2e REP elements dropped between Libya and Niger

loustic

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#21
It's the middle of the desert, so it's only logical they would drop the amphibious cie!
Wanting to be funny ? 2 Cie (my old Cie) is well prepared for that, but apparently not available because of VIGIPIRATE. And you want to make fun of it ?

(...) Below a video of the early days of ‘Opération Serval’ in Jan 2013, with, among other things, the preparation and the night drop on Timbuktu. Loustic, some faces may be familiar to you... One can also Rafale fighters being prepared by the Air Forces guys (and gals...) for a sortie.
Thanks, Rapace, for this video and this comment. Yes some faces are familiar and I am still in contact with some of them. I don't feel I am allowed to say where they are precisely.
The video is wonderful and, for me, very moving : first time since Kolwezi that the Legion had an operational jump ! And it was at night ! Moved and cannot say more at this time

Sure... It's definitely a 'plausible' scenario.

Below a link to an article on RFI (Radio France Internationale) website. They confirm that an OAP (Opération Aéro-portée), the French term for ‘combat jump’ took place near the Salvador pass. The operation was done in collaboration with ground troops of the Niger army. No details given about the unit involved and the number of paras dropped.
The goal was clearly to intercept elements going to or coming from Libya. A number of suspects were captured with radio com equipment and binoculars that were probably spotters. The main convoy targeted apparently managed to go through.

Salvador pass operation

First time elements of ‘Opération Barkhane’ are deployed so up North...
The REP obviously works with the Nigerian Army : they were already with us in 2013, and good soldiers also !
 

Don Pedro

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#22
Wanting to be funny ? 2 Cie (my old Cie) is well prepared for that, but apparently not available because of VIGIPIRATE. And you want to make fun of it ?
Relax loustic, littlebrother, i thought it was funny as heck. We are all proud of our REPtils brothers.
 
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#23
Wigan 1992,

Last official large scale Brit drop was Operation Musketeer, Suez 1956. As posted before RM Cdos fought alongside the Legion. Cdos rode on Legion tanks- debussed and assaulted using our forks. (Bayonets)
Royal & SBS have made subsequent covert drops.

Chas. RMV202910- 1956 !
 
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#24
Don ,
NB addition to my post. Also a subsequent brother officer of mine was assigned to the FFL.
He said they were the most battle seasoned troops he had ever met !
He noted their first job was to protect their own, then complete their task with panache and elan.
Many of them were Germans and there was no messing. Discipline was relaxed but professional.
Chas.
 

Don Pedro

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#25
Don ,
NB addition to my post. Also a subsequent brother officer of mine was assigned to the FFL.
He said they were the most battle seasoned troops he had ever met !
He noted their first job was to protect their own, then complete their task with panache and elan.
Many of them were Germans and there was no messing. Discipline was relaxed but professional.
Chas.
Oops! Sorry about that Chas, i will blame it on distraction. :D
 

Rapace

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#26
The 1er REP did participate in Opération Mousquetaire but wasn't dropped. It came by sea and landed near Port-Fouad along with 4 Commandos Marine units (Jaubert, Montfort, de Penfentenyo and Hubert). The airborne part of the operation (code name Opération Amilcar) involved 2e RPC (Régiment de Parachutistes Coloniaux) of Col Château-Jobert and elements of 11e Choc (special operations troops from the so-called Service Action of SDECE, ancestor of DGSE) who jumped on Port-Saïd and Port-Fouad, and three battalions of the British Parachute Regiment who jumped on the Gamil airfield.
The Legion was also represented by two escadrons of light AMX-13 tanks from 2e REC.
 

Joseph Cosgrove

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#27
One thing for sure, they will be very hot and sticky, here in Bamako it is hot as hell but further north it must be a furnace. It won't be long until we are in the rainy season either. Mountain Cie, Amphibious Cie, I don't think it really matters, basic training is the same and Legion enthusiasm doesn't dwindle.
 

Rapace

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#28
Two more articles about the drop of 90 paratroopers in the area of the Salvador pass between Niger and Libya, including the official confirmation by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The unit is not named by the JCS, but it is indeed 2e REP. Apparently it looks like the operation was not really a significant success as the ‘big fishes’ manage to slip through the net. A good reason to renew it... one day :D.

• 90 paratroopers from the REP dropped over Salvador pass
• Operation Barkhane - Situation report as of 16 April

Below a translation of the first article. It pretty well summarises everything:

This is what the Joint Chiefs of Staff said on its website about the operation of 2e REP, about which I (ndlr the author of the blog speaks) wrote a short post this morning:
“From April 7 to 13 in the region of the ‘three borders’ (ndlr Niger, Algeria and Libya) in northern Niger, Barkhane forces conducted a reconnaissance-in-force via an airborne operation on the Salvador pass. The 90 paratroopers deployed were joined by 50 French soldiers and about 30 military from Niger, coming from Madama. Several supply points were discovered (25 empty drums of gasoline, food, etc.) and three individuals captured by the Nigerian armed forces.â€￾

At the press conference this Thursday morning, clarifications were made:
“We did not enter in contact with the enemy elements and we did not detect any movement in the area but we found some logistical supply points, with buried drums of gasoline, food and drums full of various equipment aimed at supporting fighters in transit in the desert (...). Soldiers from Niger, transported by helicopter, have on their side arrested three lookouts likely acting on behalf of armed groupsâ€￾, said the spokesman, colonel Jaron.

Here we read what says my excellent colleague Olivier Fourt from RFI (ndlr I posted a link to this article earlier today). He was on the ground. He describes the three prisoners:
“Three men, two are very young, another one looking tougher is sitting on the ground, away from the group, perhaps the chief.â€￾

He continues:
“The group was in possession of a Kalashnikov and did not use it. More interesting, satellite phones and powerful binoculars found suggest that the three men were a team of spotters in charge of informing the transporters of the possible presence of French soldiers.â€￾
 

mark wake

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#29
Join the club bro! Took part in Kolwezi but damn jealous of that night drop at Timbuktu! Ah... To be with the lads again!
 

loustic

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#31
Join the club bro! Took part in Kolwezi but damn jealous of that night drop at Timbuktu! Ah... To be with the lads again!
Respect for what you did in Kolwezi : the mission there was “save the hostagesâ€￾ and it still an example.

We only had to jump at night on the enemy, the only thing we did not know (and I believe our chiefs did not know either) was that there was no real danger because the enemy was not there ! There was no gunshot in Timbuktu but we had our share of fire when patrolling in the desert !
 
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Martin Scott

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#32
Join the club bro! Took part in Kolwezi but damn jealous of that night drop at Timbuktu! Ah... To be with the lads again!
As I remember rightly made a little film about many moons ago. All power to the reptiles... Right enough of the man love back to the foyer or in EVs case corvee and more corvee.
 

Don Pedro

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#33
As I remember rightly made a little film about many moons ago. All power to the reptiles... Right enough of the man love back to the foyer or in EVs case corvee and more corvee.
Shhh, the film, it still pisses the Kolwezi veterans off for some reason.
 

Rapace

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#36
Here a short footage of the jump of 2e REP elements over the Salvador pass in North Niger that took place earlier this month.
 

Rapace

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#39
Watching the longer version confirmed what I believed. The guys don't seem to be using the EL32 “gaineâ€￾ and seem to fix their backpacks directly to the parachute harness with some sort of straps... Probably to save time after landing (no use to open the gaine to retrieve the backpack). If it makes things easier after landing, it doesn't seem however to make them easier when you have to walk and get into the plane with the backpack hanging low that way. We see containers being dropped (possibly EL20 gaines) and it may have been decided to store some of the equipment needed inside those containers so that the paratroopers are ‘lighter’...
Interesting to listen to the conversations between the pilot and the chief dispatcher (the guy with the headphones who gives the signal to drop the first container). At 1:05 he announces “Pilote de chef largueur : 31 paras, 3 colis, prêt pour le largage.â€￾ (pilot from chief dispatcher: 31 paras, 3 containers, ready for the drop). This means that in the plane we see on the video there were only 31 soldiers, so basically one platoon. My guess is the others were dropped on other DZs in the same area.
Don't know why we have this black rectangle on the images taken from above the plane. Probably something the MoD doesn't want us to see...
 

Nickfury

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#40
Ah ha... That's explains why they were exiting so slow... relatively to the videos of the REP jumps I've seen before. It's hard to move quickly and efficiently with your ruck sack hanging low between your legs :). Good video. Thanks for the analysis Rapace.
 

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