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Subject: French special forces units and clandestine action unit
The Frenchman    4/13/2006 10:42:07 AM
To be clear, in France there are several top units: 3 Main top units very famous and very competent. -The very high secret and mythical unit "Service Action " of the french overseas inteligence agency "DGSE". 150 operationals men (and women?)trained for undercover actions and unofficials missions through the world, very active. Most of the time they work like civilians people or regulary soldiers, 3 squads of 50 people whose one combat swimmer group (also all HAHO HALO parachute). -The French Navy "COMMANDO HUBERT". Naval Combat Divers unit, 60 operationals combat divers all HAHO HALO trained. -The French Gendarmerie CT UNIT "GIGN". 100 men specialized in Counter terrorism and also all civilian police problems, so it is the CT Unit who more often work a lot in comparaison with SAS, GSG9, Delta...GIGN conducts operations every weeks in France or Overseas... After those 3 Top Units it exist others largest special forces units within French Army, Navy, Air force and Gendarmerie (and Police)About total 2500 men.
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longrifle    RE:French special forces units and clandestine action unit   4/13/2006 5:31:32 PM
I do remember when the GIGN assaulted a hijacked aircraft, but; from an outsiders perspective it seems like the 2nd Foriegn Parachute Regiment, very famous, "mythical," and competent, is the unit that's always getting deployed.
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mough    RE:French special forces units and clandestine action unit   4/14/2006 2:58:02 AM
I guess the 1st RPIMa aren't "leet" enough for the list?
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The Frenchman    RE:French special forces units and clandestine action unit   4/14/2006 3:28:32 AM
The French unit more deployed on the ground through the world is the French Naval Commandos "commandos marine" and all COS UNIT (because while operations they mix teams from the 1st RPIMA, 13eme RDP, Commandos Marine and CPA 10 (Air commandos) because the French Ministry of Defense want that all French Specials Forces Units work together and no problems between them about jalousy. The famous 2sd REP is not a Special Force Unit but it can support the special forces. Within the 2sd REP there is a commando Squad (20 TO 30 men, HAHO HALO parachute)who are special forces and often works for the Special forces Command. The 2sd REP is very often deployed but less than the Special Forces. About the GIGN they work more than the SAS, GSG9 and Delta because GIGN is not only a CT UNIT. GIGN is also a Counter Criminal police Unit(and a Special Force Unit who works a lot with the Commandos marine and 1st RPIMA in Kosovo, EX-Yougoslavia, Africa, South-America, Afganhistan...) so they are deployed for all of kind of problems to arrest dangerous criminals, mad personn armed, riots, Prisons riots, close protection, inteligence, Mafias, Drugs, Corsica, Pays Basque, French Territories overseas,...
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gf0012-aust    RE:French special forces units and clandestine action unit   4/14/2006 3:31:33 AM
are french alpine troops regarded as special force elements or are they just a specialist unit?
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The Frenchman    RE:French special forces units and clandestine action unit   4/14/2006 3:54:28 AM
About the 1st RPIMA (French SAS), They initialy trained in UK during WW2 by British commandos SAS, now they often train with UK SAS. 1st RPIMa is a largest special force Unit (may be 500 to 600 OPERATIONALS operators) trained for inteligence and special actions. Some of them are in Afganhistan but normaly no in Irak (for example we know that some men from "service action" clandestine unit are at time in Irak, Syria, Iran, Libanon, Pakistan...but not officialy and probably in civilian dress or foreigner uniform undercover, the 1st RPIMa is not allowed to do that). Alwyas in the French Army you ave an human intelignce Regiment, 13 eme RDP who often trains the US Ranger. This unit is only a Inteligence Unit, they can stay 2 months inside underground hole to watch and report without go out like they did in ex-Yougoslavia or they do LRRP inside enemy areas. May be 500 to 600 operationals operators. About the French Naval Commandos, 400 commandos (whose a Maritime CT and hostage rescue squad of 20 men) and 60 Combat Diver (whose an another Mar CT and H R team OF 16 MEN). About air commandos: THe CPA 10 MAY BE 200 to 300 men, C SAR, Airport attack and laser designation. There are others units or squads inside diferents regiments who can works for special forces command (EPIGN, 17EME rgp, Mountain Human inteligence Unit, some of squads from Foreign Legion,UDT Divers...
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The Frenchman    RE:French special forces units and clandestine action unit   4/14/2006 4:07:05 AM
Inside the Moutain Division you have a special company who regroups all the recon teams of the Mountain regiment, they are very good and very well trained because most of them were born in French Moutains "les Alpes", they know the moutain and practise skiing, climbing, parapenta,...since they wewe kids... MAy be 100 to 120 men. yOU HAVE another top Moutain Goup inside the French Army but not realy operationals who are specialized in very hight mountain training, Himalaya everest, anapurna, they climb the highest moutains in the world, mnay be 20 men.
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The Frenchman    RE:French special forces units and clandestine action unit   4/14/2006 4:49:38 AM
The Moutain Brigade (may be 6000 TO 7000 MEN)with infantry, artillery, Engineering, not a Special Force Brigade but within the Mountain Brigade the Moutain Human Inteligence Unit is one of the 2sd Circle Units of the Frecnh Special Operations Command so the "COS" can use them and they work a lot under Special Forces Command. Most of French Special Forces Operators, naval commandos and 1st RPIMa (NCOs and Officers, inside the French SF there isn't many soldiers)are trained in moutain combat and 1s RPIMa has a Moutain Special Forces Company within it.
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interestedamateur    RE:French special forces units and clandestine action unit   5/17/2006 7:49:16 AM
It's worth noting that the French Army Special Forces Brigade is being expanded (source: It now consists of: 1 RPIMA 13 RDP + 1 Btn transferred from 11 Abn (probably 2 REP) 1 Helicopter Regiment
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raunaq    RE:French special forces units and clandestine action unit   5/17/2006 8:26:16 AM
The French Gendarmerie CT UNIT "GIGN". 100 men specialized in Counter terrorism Its that small??? I know GIGN training (specifically, small-arms) course is very famous, so many other nations put their officers through it... so what is it like? 50% of the trainees are foreign or something?
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Grenadier Voltigeur    RE:interestedamateur   5/17/2006 1:31:43 PM
The COS (Special Operations Command) consists in: - Armée de Terre 1st RPIMA (MArine Infantry Paratroopers) Main special force unit of the Armée de Terre 13th RDP (Airborne Dragons) Infiltration far beyond enemy lines for Intel and Recon missions DAOS (Helicopter Regiment) - Marine Nationale COMMANDOS MARINE: Hubert, Trépel, Jaubert, Pentefeyo, De Monfort: Combat swimmers, Maritime antiterrorism (ECTLO), all forms of combat in aquatic environnemnt - Armée de l'Air: CPA 10, 20 and 30 (Airforce Paratroopers Commandos): Intel, Recon, CSAR (RESCO in french), anti-drugs and anti-terrorism operations
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