French Agencies

SGDN - Secretariat General de la Defense Nationale

DGSE - General Directorate for External Security/Direction Generale de la Securite Exterieure

General Directorate for External Security subordinate to the Ministry of the Defense, is responsible for military intelligence as well as for strategic information, electronic intelligence, and it is also responsible for the counterespionage outside the borders of the national territory. Officially its soldier are assigned to 44th Infantry Regiment based in Orléans. Its headquarters was formerly situated in the Caserne des Tourelles, 128 Boulevard Mortier, 75020 Paris, in the 20th arrondissement. The DGSE is in the process of moving to the fort of Noisy-Le-Sec, but it intends to retain the Caserne Mortier headquarters. The new headquarters complex at Noisy, situated in the communes of Noisy-le-Sec and Romainville was initiated in 1992 and had been confirmed by successive governments since then. In 1993 the project was reconfigured by DGSE, under the designation of "Fort 2000." The cost of this project is 2 billion Francs over five years from 1996 to 2001. The DGSE was formed through the integration of the diverse agencies of French intelligence from the Second World War. The Free French forces in 1942 created the Central Bureau of Information and Action (BCRA), which in November 1943 relocated to Algiers as the General Directorate of Special Services (DGSS). On 06 November 1944 the intelligence networks of the French Resistance were integrated to the DGSS, which was redesignated the Directorate of Studies and Research (DGER). This merger incorporated a limited number of communist networks, which was not entirely satisfactory in the post-War environment. Consequently in 1946 the government of the Fourth Republic created the External Documentation and Counterespionage Service (SDECE) subordinated to the prime minister. After abolition of the French Indochina opium monopoly in 1950, SDECE imposed centralized, covert controls over the illicit drug traffic that linked the Hmong poppy fields of Laos with the opium dens operating in Saigon. This generated profits that funded French covert operations in their Vietnam war. With the advent of the Fifth Republic, and through 1962, the SDECE was used as a strategic intelligence service by the prime minister Michel Debre, and was particularly efficient in the struggle against the rebellion in Algeria. In 1962, following the Ben Barka affair, General De Gaulle decided to subordinate the SDECE to the minister of the defense, and the institution adapted to the military environment.

Charles De Gaulle undertook covert operations in Quebec using nationalist and separatist movements in Quebec, under the rubric of "Assistance et Cooperation Technique" or "Operation Ascot." Jacques Foccart dispatched SDECE agents to Quebec to develop and foment the growth of separatist movements. In 1968 Foccart and SDECE tried to wrest control of Nigerian oil from Britain and the US by arming and supplying secessionists in Nigeria's oil-rich Biafra region. The revolt was crushed at a cost of 500,000 lives. The "Common Program" established by the Socialist and Communist parties in 1972 included the demand of Communists for the dissolution of the SDECE. This measure was not supported by socialist camp, and intentions of President François Mitterand were unknown at the time of his election in May 1981. In fact, the arrival of the Socialists marked the attempt to "civilize" the SDECE. In June 1981, Stone Marion, a civilian who was the former Director of the Paris Airport, was named to the head of the SDECE. Perceived as a "man of the socialists" and a civilian among soldiers, Marion encountered internal opposition from SDECE. On 04 April 1982 the SDECE was replaced by the Directorate of the External Security (DGSE). Based on his experience as an enterprise manager, Stone Marion consolidated the structure and the cohesion of the service by the creation of a General Directorate that controls Directorates of Searches, Counterespionage, Personnel and the mythical Division Action. This stimulated the coordinate computerization of service. Furthermore, the DGSE was no longer permitted to operate on French territory. The contested personality of Marion, and the absence of success in the campaign against terrorism, led to the naming of Admiral Lacoste as the head of the DGSE in 1982. But the "militarization" of the DGSE had slowed, and since the early 1980s the top DGSE military management was gradually replaced by civilians. The proportion of civilians has risen from 45% in 1989 to 60% in 1993. Jacques Dewatre has been the Director of the DGSE since 07 June 1996. In 1996 the total staff of 2,500 included 1,700 civilians, with an official budget of FF 1,350,000,000. About half these resources were devoted to political and diplomatic intelligence, with the remainder equally divided between military and economic intelligence. The current DGSE structure stems from the restructuring imposed by Claude Silberzahn following his arrival as the head of the service in 1989.

The Strategic Directorate is responsible for the determination of the adequacy of sought-after information with needs of clients. It maintains, notably, contact with the Foreign Ministry. It elaborates documents of doctrine and general orientation, as well as studies on possible French political options. The Intelligence Directorate is responsible the collection of information, mainly from human sources, including the employment of illegal agents. It is responsible both for collecting and disseminating intelligence, and it is the main partner of the Operations Directorate. Traditionally oriented to the military intelligence, this Directorate was relatively weak concerning political, economic and technological intelligence until the beginning of the 1980s. In early 1993 the CIA obtained a long DGSE list of the most important intelligence targets in the United States, which included Boeing, among other companies. The DGSE agents were mainly interested in the navigation system of Boeing's new jumbo jet to pass on to French companies, including the Airbus syndicate. The Technical Division was constituted from the former Groupement des Contrôles Radioélectriques [GCR - Radioelectronic Communications Group]. It is responsible for strategic electronic intelligence, and maintains a number of collection stations throughout the world. At a listening station west of Paris, the DGSE can intercept international telephone and fax traffic. With the decision by Defense Minister Alain Richard to close the Bouar base in the Central African Republic, the DGSE will lose one of its major SIGINT communications interception and decryption stations. The DGSE"s other major station, in Djibouti, still remains and may even be enlarged. The Operations Division is responsible for planning and implementing clandestine operations. The 1995 "Operation SATANIC" had the objective of neutralizing the "Rainbow Warrior" ship that was part of the Greenpeace campaign against French nuclear tests in the Pacific. On 10 July 1985 DGSE agents detonated a bomb on the ship while it was in port of Auckland, New Zealand, killing the photographer Fernando Peira. The Division's schemes depend on the Division Action:

The Army component was the 11th Parachutist Battalion of Shock (BPC), created 01 September 1946 and based in Fort Montlouis. From 01 November 1985, following Operation SATANIC, the 11th BPC was reorganized by President Mitterrand and redesignated the 11th Parachutist Regiment Shock (11e RPC). The Station of Swimmer Combat Command was created on 16 April 1956, and on 26 October 1960 it was transferred to Aspretto (Corsica). The unit figured prominently in the Greenpeace affair of 1985, when French agents sank the Rainbow Warrior while docked at Auckland, New Zealand. After the Rainbow Warrior scandal, CINC was redeployed to Quélern in Brittany. The Division Action has training camps in Cercottes (Loiret), Roscanvel and Perpignan (Pyrenees Orientals) (formerly situated to Margival, in the Aisne). In 1992, during the DGSE reforms and the creation of the special force headquarters, it was been decided to leave the 11th RPC to the DGSE, given the particular missions of the Division Action in peacetime. On 30 June 1995 11th Shock was dissolved and its functions were replaced by three "stations", the CPES in Cercottes, the CIPS in Perpignan and the CPEOM in Roscanvel.

DRM - Directorate of Military Intelligence / Direction du Renseignement Militaire

The DRM was created to solve intelligence shortcomings observed during the Gulf War at the instigation of the then-Interior Minister Pierre Joxe. The DRM was formed from the Military Intelligence Exploitation Centre [CERM - Centre d'Exploitation du Renseignement Militaire], the Centre for Information on Electromagnetic Radiation (CIREM - Centre d'Information sur les rayonnements Electrotmagnétiques), [Centre l'Interprétation Interarmées de l'Imagerie], the Inter-Army HELIOS Unit [l'Unité Interarmées HELIOS], the Inter-Army Imagery Interpretation Centre and the Second Bureau of the Army and Air Force. Naval Intelligence was not absorbed by the DRM remaining under the Foreign Affairs Bureau (BRE) subordinate to the Operating Staff of the Navy in order better to follow naval developments around the world. The CERM was a tactical intelligence unit subordinated to the chief of staff of the Armed (CEMA). CERM was the smallest and the most secretive unit of French tactical intelligence. It coordinated the intelligence units of the three armed forces, and was responsible for operational and strategic intelligence, while the three Armed Forces were responsible for tactical intelligence. CERM was located at the Inter-Army Intelligence Centre (CIFR - Centre de Formation Interarmées du Renseignement (CIFR)) at Strasbourg. Created in 1974, CIFR was also integrated into the DRM. The DRM's founding decree of 16 June 1992 tasks the Directorate with "planning, coordinating, and leading investigations and the use of military intelligence." But over time the Directorates's responsibilities have gradually evolved from purely military intelligence to intelligence of military interest to the political and strategic intelligence that is the primary responsibility of the DGSE. The DRM is not a secret service, it is not responsible for internal security, and its employees are not spies, and the DRM has no "operations" branch comparable to the DGSE "action" department. The Directorate's activities include analysing satellite and other electromagnetic imagery, and it is largely dependent on the collection resources of the Armed Forces, such as the BRGE (Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Regiment).

Its headquarters and activities devoted to administration and current intelligence are located in Paris, while technical and processing Sub-Directorates are located in Creil (Oise). Since 1992 the DRM has been one of the few defence agencies to recruit new staff. The staff of 1,600 in 1995 is anticipated to grow to 1,900 by the year 2000. In 1995 its staff composition was 50% Army, 23% Aviation, 12%e Navy, 2% General Delegation for Armament, l% Police and 12% civil service. Initially it was headed by General John HEINRICH, former Director of Operations of DGSE, who was replaced on 22 November 1995 by General Bruno ELECTS. The 1994 DRM budget was FF 243,000,000. The DRM director reports directly to the Defence Ministry, rather than through the Armed Forces chiefs of staff to which the Directorate is attached. The Research Sub-Directorate is responsible for human and electronic collection activities at the operational level. For this purpose, it utilizes the services of the Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Brigade (BRGE), created 1st September 1993 which is an element of the Headquarters of the Army. The Exploitation Sub-Directorate is composed essentially the former CERM and the Inter-Army Imagery Interpretation Centre. It is responsible the production and dissemination of intelligence. The Proliferation and Armament Sub-Directorateis responsible for study and analysis of threats from nuclear technology proliferation, chemical weapons, and other armaments. The Technical Sub-Directorate is responsible for providing technical support to the other elements of the Directorate. The Human Allowances and Administration Sub-Directorate is responsible for the recruitment, management and training of personnel. It has resumed prerogatives of the CERM for the formation of the personnel of military information, notably with School Interarmées of the Information and Linguistic Studies (EIRL) to Strasbourg. Its activities include liaison with the Directorate of the National Police (DGGN) and the Directorate of Defence Protection and Security (DPSD), the Headquarters of the Armed Forces, and to the General Delegation for the Armament (DGA)

DPSD - Directorate for Defense Protection and Security / Direction de la Protection et de la Securite de la Defense

The Directorate for Defence Protection and Security (formerly Securite Militaire - SM - Military Security) is responsible for military counterintelligence operations, as well as political surveillance of the military, ensuring the political reliability of the armed forces, and other military security duties. In December 1995 DPSD Director Roland Guillaume was promoted to a full general, and his mandate as DPSD chief was renewed. The move was seen as reflecting approval of his renovation and modernization of the "old fashioned" SM into a modern counter-intelligence and security service. The planned 1997-2002 military budget left the DPSD stable with 1,620 personnel. The DPSD has carried out some surveys, particularly in order to assess the impact of the far Right in the barracks. The DPSD survey shows that 10 percent of the military vote for [FN Leader] Le Pen, some 5 percent less than the national average. Rather than about the FN vote, the DPSD is worried about the growing influence of traditional Catholic circles among officers.

BRGE - Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Brigade / Brigade de Renseignement et de Guerre Electronique

The Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Brigade (BRGE) was created 1st September 1993, to solve intelligence shortcomings observed during the Gulf War at the instigation of the then-Interior Minister Pierre Joxe. It provides the Defense Ministry and military commands with signals intelligence (SIGINT) support. The BRGE derives signal intelligence by monitoring a variety of communications and other signals, such as radars. For this purpose it controls and administers facilities which operates from a number of locations. In addition to providing signals intelligence, the BRGE also provides advice and assistance to the Armed Forces on the security of their communications and information technology systems.

SCSSI - Central Service for Information System Security / Service central de la sécurité des systèmes d'informations

SCSSI is responsible for regulation of the use of cryptosystems. Users for authentication must make a declaration to the SCSSI that is then verified, and users for privacy purposes are required to have an authorization from SCSSI. The Interministerial Office for Information Systems Security Service (DISSI) was superceeded by SCSSI in February 1996, and French law on ciphering changed in July 1996.

Air Force / l’Armée de l’Air

The organization of the Air Force is characterized by three hierarchical levels and three complementary chains of command. The High Command comprises the Chief of Air Staff (CEMAA = Chef d’État Major de l’Armée de l’Air), assisted by his central administration. The organization chart shows that he is directly subordinate to the Minister of Defence, whom he assists in his duties relating to the operational readiness of the Air Force. He is adviser to the Joint Chief of Staff (CEMA = Chef d’État Major des Armées) concerning the commitment of air assets and the conduct of air operations.

The very nature of air power demands a flexible organization in order to allow «ad hoc» task forces (occasionally joint task forces) to be assembled, according to the type of crisis and the nature of the operation. Such task forces are composed of elements drawn from organic (specific) assets. They are placed under the authority of an operational command, which is responsible to the Joint Chief of Staff, and tailored to meet a specific task. The organization of the French Air Force provides the necessary operational flexibility and a command structure adapted to the use of military force whilst ensuring coherent planning of air operations, unified tasking and the most effective use of resources. Thus, it can be seen that the missions and deployment of the Air Force are the responsibility of the Operational Commands while its operational readiness depends on the Organic Commands. The latter role also includes the Air Regions that are responsible for the support of air bases and the units attached to them. The Air Force has units throughout France, as well as in its overseas territories and foreign countries.


The Strategic Air Command (CFAS = Commandement des Forces Aériennes Stratégiques);

The Air Defence and Air Operations Command (CDAOA = Commandement de la Défense Aérienne et des Opérations Aériennes).


There are three Air Regions:

The North-East Air Region (RANE = Région aérienne Nord Est), with its headquarters at Villacoublay;

The Atlantic Air Region (RAA = Région aérienne atlantique), with its headquarters at Bordeaux-Mérignac;

The Mediterranean Air Region (RAM = Région aérienne méditerranée), with its headquarters at Aix-les-Milles.


The organic (specialised) chain of command comprises five major commands:

Air Combat Command (CFAC = Commandement de la Force Aérienne de Combat);

Air Mobility Command (CFAP = Commandement de la Force Aérienne de Projection);

Air Surveillance, Information and Communication Systems Command (CASSIC = Commandement

Air des Systèmes de Surveillance, d’Information et de Communication);

Air Force Education and Training Command (CEAA = Commandement des Écoles de l’Armée de l’Air);

Air Force Ground Security Command (CFCA = Commandement des Fusiliers Commandos de l’Air).


The Air Force base is the level at which all the links from the various commands (operational, organic and territorial) are brought together. Thus, it plays a crucial role in the functioning of the Air Force. The Base Commander has authority over all the units that are stationed on the base (this can include from 600 to 3,500 personnel). He is responsible for maintaining operational effectiveness and for the execution of orders regarding specific missions.


The operational role of the Air Force relies on an organization that is adapted to the flexibility and mobility of air power supported by the necessary infrastructure and logistics chain. Thus, the flying units remain as light and mobile as possible, ready to be deployed rapidly in the knowledge that the support required to enable them to accomplish their missions will be provided. We apply the same concepts to our overseas units by establishing mobile support units which deploy with their parent combat units.

CFAC - Commandement de la Force Aérienne de Combat / Air Combat Command

The Air Combat Command (CFAC = Commandement de la Force Aérienne de Combat) is a powerful offensive and defensive force that may be deployed to any corner of the globe. It is responsible for numerous and diverse roles. It assures: the defence of French national airspace, the functioning of the air combat intelligence network. It ensures the presence of combat aircraft in the right place at the right time. At any level (crisis, regional or generalized conflict) it conducts: the air battle in order to win air superiority, offensive air actions on land and sea, air tasking such as electronic and photographic intelligence. In the field of deterrence. it contributes conventional air assets to the nuclear mission. The in-flight refuelling capability available to all the units of the Air Combat Command enables them to operate on a global scale. The pre-positioning of combat aircraft units, mainly in Africa and in our overseas departments and territories, considerably increases the operating radius of these assets. Finally, since most military operations are by their very nature unpredictable, often set within the framework of ad-hoc alliances or coalitions, the interoperability of units and command structures is a major objective. In order to fulfil its assignment, the Air Combat Command focuses on two key aspects: maintaining high availability of its assets, giving its personnel optimal combat preparation which is founded on minimal air activity for pilots of 180 flying hours per year and on operational training which emphasizes realism, interoperability and familiarity with state of the art equipment.

In order to achieve its role the Air Combat Command has the following assets at its disposal:

Personnel: about 6,700 men and women; this manpower would be augmented by approximately 540 reserve personnel in the case of mobilization.

Equipment: 315 operational combat aircraft, assigned to 15 front line squadrons and 2 reconnaissance squadrons. In order to fulfil its electromagnetic intelligence role, the Command includes the 54th Air Intelligence Wing with two Transalls at its disposal.

It has also a command centre located in Fort de Guise, protected against every kind of threat (conventional, NBC, EMI). This centre is responsible for: the supervision of training activity, the condition of all assets and the operational status of units, the management of deployed staff

54th Air Intelligence Wing / 54 ème Escadron de Renseignement Air

April 1, 1963, " the electronic Flotilla 30/813 ", stationed in FREIBURG (R.F.A.) whose origins go back to 1954, gave birth to the " electronic Group 30/450 ". The various means of " the EE 813 " are distributed between the electronic Squadron 40/450 established with HOMISGRINDE close to ACHERN (R.F.A.) E the Center of exploitation of the tactical information (C.E.R.T.) 50/450, with LAHR, initially Center N°1 of the E.E. 30/183 since November 12, 1959. The G.E. 30/450 leaves FREIBURG for the air base of LAHR (R.F.A.) in July 1963. It then includes/understands 5 detachments, all based in the F.R.G.:



- DT 3 GOSLAR (military enclave of Schalke)



It thus joined the electronic Flotilla 054, in charge of the implementation of Noratlas 2501 GABRIEL. From November 1, 1963, the commander of the E.E. 054 exerts the functions of second in command and head of the operations of the G.E.E 30/450.

July 1, 1966, the G.E. 30/450 is dissolved. Personnel of the central portion (LAHR) joined the air base 128 of METZ-FRESCATY to constitute the " electronic Group 35/351 ", the E.E. 40/450 becomes E.E. 40/351, the CE.R.T. 50/540 becomes 55/351. These new names mark the membership of these units to the tactical air Force 1st incipient air area. This group increases by a sixth detachment, the DT 6 of STOBERHAI (the F.R.G.), while the DT 1 leaves FREIBURG for STRASBOURG. In October 1968 is created the DT 7 of FURTH-IM-WALD (the F.R.G.). Finally on June 1, 1969, the E.E. 40/351 becomes E.E. 41/351, and absorbs in October 1971 the DT 1 of STRASBOURG. From June 1, 1972, the whole of these means is gathered under the command of the tactical electronic Grouping 30/351 which is made up as follows:

In Metz: an organization of command, the C.E.R.T. 55/351, a Squadron of specialized maintenance E.M.S. 31/351, an electronic Flotilla EE 00/354 pennies controls operational of the commander of the G.E.T.

In the F.R.G.: an electronic Squadron E.E. 41/351 (ACHERN), six electronic detachments (FROM 32 BERLIN - OF 33 GOSLAR - OF 34 FURTENFELDBRUCK - OF 36 BAD-LAUTERBERG - OF 37 FURTH IM WALD - OF 38 BADEN-OOS).

October 1, 1978 is created the Centre of electronic instruction of war C.I.G.E. 56/351, whose mission is to form interceptors linguists or techniques. May 1979 sees the creation of the electronic Squadrons ground: OF 32, 33, 36, 37 become respectively E.E.S. 32, 33, 36 and 37. The E.M.S. is called from now on Groupe of maintenance and implementation (G.M.M.O. 31/351). But it is the creation of the Centre of operations of the G.E.T. (C.O.G.E.T.) who marks more the operational organization of the grouping, since it leads on July 1, 1986 to the dissolution of the C.E.R.T.

July 1, 1988 is significant date in the organization of the unit, which adopts a structure of Squadron. Thus is born the 54ème tactical electronic Escadre, which takes again the traditions of the 54ème Escadre of bombardment, whose origins go up with the 1st world war. THE E.E. 00.054 becomes electronic Squadron E.E. 01/054 and takes again the name of tradition " DUNKIRK "; it gathers three escadrilles electronic:

For TRANSALL GABRIEL: E.E. 11/054: control plane, E.E.R.E. 31/054: seek electronic (operators of interceptions)

For Technical Helicopter ELINT (H.E.T.): E.E. 21/054 with GOSLAR.

These three escadrilles take again respectively the badges of 1st, 3rd and 4th escadrilles of the 54ème Escadre of bombardment. The C.I.G.E. is definitively attached to the Squadron with punched-card name C.I.G.E. 10/054, the G.M.M.O. becomes GERMas R.E. 15/054, the E.E. of ACHERN is called from now on E.E.S. 04/054, other electronic squadrons ground becoming E.E.S. 02/054 BERLIN, 03/054 GOSLAR, E.E.S. 06/054 BAD-LAUTERBERG, E.E.S. 07/054 FURTH-IM-WALD. This organization sees the arrival with the squadron:

H.E.T., helicopter of the PUMA type modified for the interception of the signals radars, set up at GOSLAR in January 1988,  C 160 G Transall Gabriel (2 ex), replacing faithful " the Gabriel North ", whose last of the six specimens carries out ultimate " the Comer " on October 26, 1989.

The reunification of Germany, accompanied by the withdrawal of the Soviet air Forces in Center Europe, involves for the Squadron a redeployment E its means stationed in the In addition to-Rhine: E.E.S. 06/054 of BAD-LAUTERBERG and 03/054 of GOSLAR were dissolved respectively in June 1992 and July 1993, the H.E.T. and the E.E. 21/054 having left GOSLAR for the Flight test centre of Mount of Marsan as of May 1992. Redeployment in France of the E.E.S. 02/054 of BERLIN was carried out in 1994 with in parallel the creation of a participation air (P.A. 13/054) within a centre of collection interarmées established to MUTZIG. Within the framework of the rise to power of the tactical chain of information air implemented by the Command of the tactical air Force, was officially created in August 1992, the Centre of fusion of the electromagnetic information (C.F.R.E.) 12/054 which becomes in August 1994 the Squadron of fusion of the electromagnetic information of origin (E.F.R.O.EM.). Lastly, August 1, 1995, 54ème E.E.T. takes the name of Squadron of Air information and involves in its wake creation as from October 1, 1995 of the Squadron of instruction of information and electronic war 10/054 (E.I.R.G.E.) and of the Squadron of support and drive to the information air 12/054 (E.S.E.R.A.). This new squadron is from now on the single centre of training of all the personnel " information " of the Air Force. It is advisable to specify that the Centre of formation interarmées of interpretation image (CFÍ), composed of personnel photo interpreters, is established on the basis of air CREIL. The creation of the E.I.R.G.E. gives to the Air Force the adequate framework for a single, coherent and optimised formation specialists in the information ready to be integrated in a modular structure of Theatre within a framework air, interarmées or interallied. As for the E.S.E.R.A.; it is used as organic reserve of professionals of the information of combat, ready to arm without delay the structures of the tactical information air on three different theatres of operations.


France's Gendarmerie Nationale contains a number of specialized, elite sub-units. The most famous of these units is the GIGN Counter Terrorist (CT) unit. Another of these units, although less well known, is the Gendarmerie's EPIGN (Escadron Parachutiste d'Intervention de la Gendarmarie Nationale). Little known outside of France this highly skilled special operations and counter terrorist force routinely operates alongside its more well known counterpart. Raised in 1971, and known as the EPGM (Escadron Parachutiste de Gendarmerie Mobile), the unit was originally raised to give the Gendarmerie and airborne and special operations capability. Its initial cadre were drawn from Mobile Gendarmie units stationed though out France. The squadron underwent several name changes over the years, before settling with its current designation. EPIGN Gendarmes have participated in a number of French military interventions over the years. Teams have operated in support of the international peacekeeping forces deployed to the war torn city of Beirut, Lebanon and in July 1987, EPIGN commandos assisted GIGN with riot suppression at the Fleury-Merogis prison near Paris. They have supported French military units operating against Libyan backed opposition forces in Chad. EPIGN teams have been extremely active in Basque territory operating against heavily armed ETA terrorists. EPIGN platoons now operate on a rotational basis though out the Basque countryside. The French territory of New Caledonia has experienced various periods of unrest over the years. During one such period of unrest, a Gendarmerie station was attacked, and a number of hostages were held. The French government soon dispatched a number of special operations units to deal with the crisis. Amongst them was an EPIGN platoon which operated under the control of GIGN. As a result of this operation and other terrorist acts an EPIGN platoon is now permanently stationed in the territory.

Teams of operators have deployed to many of France's former African colonies, to help quell disturbances and provide protection details to visiting VIPs. In 1994, team of EPIGN operators deployed to Rawanda, along with French airborne and special operations units , to conduct Operation Pelican. In December of 1994, EPIGN participated in the rescue of hostages from Air France flight 8969. Members of an Algerian terrorist group, known as the Armed Islamic Group, boarded the flight and hijacked the aircraft. GIGN and EPIGN, along with other French special operations assets, were immediately placed on an alert status. Once the aircraft landed in France, the GIGN and EPIGN teams were prepared to storm the aircraft if necessary. French intelligence operatives received word that the terrorist planned to use the aircraft as a gigantic suicide bomb, exploding the plane while in flight over Paris. The decision was made not to let the aircraft liftoff, and the attack order was transmitted. GIGN assault teams stormed the aircraft while EPIGN teams provided support and secured the area around the aircraft. Once the aircraft had been secured EPIGN Gendarmes helped evacuate hostages and wounded personnel to safety. In 1997, EPIGN once again deployed to Africa. This time to Brazzaville, in the Congo, to help evacuate French expatriates, and to try to restore some form of order to the Former French colony. In 1998 EPIGN protective details, provided security during the Rambouillet summit convened to bring and ended to the ongoing conflict in the former Republic of Yugoslavia. Subordinate to the Gendarmerie Nationale's Groupe de Securite et d'Intervention de La Gendarmerie Nationale (GSIGN- the Gendarmerie's special operations and rapid intervention command), the unit is currently commanded by a Captain, and composed of approximately 140 men. The unit is divided into a command section , and four specialized platoons.

The first platoon is the Operational Support section, and is composed of seventeen men. The second and third platoons are the units Security and Protection platoons. Each is composed of two officers and forty NCO's and enlisted troops and specialize in conducting rapid reaction operations, such as NEOs, and VIP protection. They routinely operate alongside of the Groupe de Securite du President de la Republique (GSPR- the French Secret Service). They are responsible for providing the protection details to the French Minister of Defence, and the military's Chief of Staff. Each platoon also contains a small canine and EOD section. One platoon is always on standby for immediate deployment to crisis spots, or terrorist incidents. The last platoon , which is composed of one officer and thirty-five NCO's and enlisted personnel, is known as the Groupe d'Observation et de Research (GOR), and specializes in conducting surveillance and intelligence gathering missions for the unit. The GOR also contains the units combat swimmer trained personnel. Prospective EPIGN hopefuls are drawn form the ranks of experienced Gendarmerie personnel, with approximately 70% coming from Mobile Gendarmerie units, 20% from the Republican Guard , and 10% from departmental units. Candidates must have at least five years experience before applying to the unit. Their selection process is identical to the one used to select candidates for airborne and special operations units of the French army. EPIGN training classes are very small, averaging 10 students per session (conducted twice yearly). In addition to the their Basic Gendarmerie and airborne training, students attend various specialty courses provided by both the Gendarmerie and the military such as mountaineering, combat medicine, land navigation, communications, advanced weapons handling, defensive driving, and free fall parachuting. Approximately 42 unit members are trained in military free fall techniques (HALO/HAHO), and both the Protection and Security sections and the GOR contain highly trained sniper personnel.

EPIGN's armoury is stocked with the best weapons on the open market. The unit is equipped with the HK MP-5 series of submachine guns. GOR operators typically use the SD version wen conducting surveillance or recon missions, and the MP-5K model is used by the units close protection details. Pistols consist of the Matra-Manurhin MR-73 .357 revolver, the S &W Chief 60 .38 revolver, Glock 19 and 26 semi-auto pistols. Shotguns used include the modified Remington 870's equipped with Laser Products Sure Fire tac lights and laser aiming devices, Benelli, and Baretta 12 gauges. Rifles include the FAMAS rifle equipped with various night vision and laser aiming devices. Sniper rifles consist of the 7.62mm PGM Commando, the Barret L82A1 and the PGM Hecate .50cal rifles. Heavy weapons support consist of the Belgian 5.56mm Minimi (US M-29), and the HK-69 40 mm grenade launcher.


Ministry of the Interior

RG - General Information / Renseignement Generaux

The Central Directorate of General Information is tasked with research and centralization of information intended to inform the government. It participates in the fundamental defence of the interest of the state and supports the internal security mission. The DCRG is charged with monitoring of backlashes and field establishments of races. The RG implements its missions throughout the national territory through police regions and through the dual authority of prefect and the Directorate of the national police. The DCRG employs 3,850 officials all ranks, assets and administrative, of whom 700 are assigned to the Prefecture of Police of Paris. Socialist interior minister Pierre Joxe "decentralized" the RG, though after consideration of whether the RG should be dissolved altogether, in November 1994 Interior Minister Charles Pasqua restored the "Central Service" of the RG as a "Central Direction." At the central level, the DCRG is organized into four Sub-Directorates, which are in turn divided into sections:

Sub-Directorate of Research centralizes information concerning prevention and combating e terrorism and watches groups which pose hazards to the national territory;

Sub-Directorate of Analysis is responsible for analysis and synthesis of information collected in the social, financial or corporate domains. It devotes an equally large share of its activity to the life of the city and to its deviances, such as urban violence's.

Sub-Directorate of Races and Backlashes is responsible, throughout the national territory, for monitoring backlashes and racial organizations, and it has judicial competence for all specific infringements in this domain.

Sub-Directorate of Resources and Methods manages human resources, logistics, documentation, and ascertains budgetary matters as well as the training of personnel.

The headquarters of the DCRG maintains operating links and coordination with the Directorate of the National Police, the Prefecture of Police and the other administrations or authorities and decentralized administrations of RG. Decentralized administrations are divided by regions, departments, down to districts at the level of some under prefectures, perhaps in posts detached from larger units. Regional directorates can have specialized units competent in regional issues

DST - Directorate of Territorial Security / Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire

Created in 1944 to "struggle against activities of espionage and against the activities of alien powers on territories under French sovereignty" the Directorate for Territorial Surveillance has undergone from the end of 1970s, an important evolution linked to the two phenomena: the transformation in espionage activities from solely the military sector to economic domains, scientific and technical; the appearance and the diversification of the terrorist threat.

Since the Eastern Bloc opened up, the DST has redeployed its operatives, previously working on the Soviets, and assigned them to new threats, the Israelis and the Americans in particular. Since 1992, counterespionage noted that members of the CIA were "approaching" senior civil servants. The DST presently is administered as an internal security agency whose essential function is to search for information for security and to follow the uncertain and diversified evolution of patterns of the threat. Its headquarters has been situated at 1 rue Nélaton in Paris, since July 1985. In late August 1997 the French government appointed Jean- Jacques Pascal to head the DST. Pascal, who was in charge of the political intelligence unit the Renseignements Generaux between 1990 and 1992, took over from Philippe Parant who retired.

The detailed organization of the DST is covered by the secret defence classification. In general, schematically it includes: In Paris, on central administration divided into 5 Sub-Directorates (counterespionage, safety and protection of the patrimony, international terrorism, technical administration and general administration) and a special office of national relationships and international; In the provinces there are 7 regional Directorates, and several brigades and 4 posts installed in overseas terrritories.

The DST Economic Security and Protection of National Assets department has units in the 22 regions to protect French technology.. It has been operating for 20 years, not only on behalf of defence industry leaders, but also for pharmaceuticals, telecoms, the automobile industry, and all manufacturing and service sectors.

DCPJ - Central Directorate Judicial Police / Direction Centrale Police Judiciaire

The interior security of France is the responsibility of two major forces: the national police force (which is governed by civil statute) which is under the supervision of the Ministry for the Interior, and the national gendarmerie (military police under the supervision of the Ministry for Defence). The principal mission of the National police force, for which it has a specialized organization, is to fight against criminality and delinquency whatever their forms. Since 1945, the police have undergone two major structural reforms:

With the law no. 66-492 of July 9, 1966, the legislator ended the duality existing between national safety and the prefecture of Police of Paris by creating the National Police force, while preserving the specificity of the Prefecture of Police of Paris.

The law no. 95-73 of January 21, 1995 of orientation and coding relative to security, provided the foundations of a vast reform of the national police force.

The Direction Centrale Police Judiciaire (DCPJ) is a major French internal security service which acts as the "public face" of the DST. One of essential roles of the police is the search for infringements of the law, to observe them, to gather evidence, to identify the authors of crimes, and to apprehend them. Acting thus, the police becomes an ancillary to the judicial authority and takes therefore the JUDICIAL POLICE designation. The Central Directorate of the Judicial Police includes the territorial and central administration of the National Police for the prevention and the repression of the organized crimine and specialized delinquency. Acting on its own initiative or by delegation of magistrates, most of 7.400 officials of the Judicial Police have the grade of Police Officer Judicial. They have a territorial competence either regional or national in scope and implement approaches and techniques of investigation adapted to countering complex and serious criminal phenomena. Central Directorate of Judicial Police, besides the personnel's and administrative divisions, is constituted of operating organs of national competence:

Sub-Directorate of Police Technique and Science is responsible for implementation of identity techniques, managing the large operating Police files (automated fingerprint file, criminal process information, and searched person files), to process for broadcast of research results and for coordinating the management of the five scientific Police laboratories installed in Paris, Lille, Lyon, Marseilles and Toulouse. These submodules are at the disposal judicial authorities and the entire Police administration.

Sub-Directorate of Criminal Businesses that includes central offices for the repression of banditry, the traffic in objects and art works, the traffic in arms, explosives and nuclear and chemical substances as well as of the traffic in drugs. It also includes the national brigades for the struggle against the other patterns of crime against persons and goods (terrorism, administrative document traffic and homicides).

Sub-Directorate of Economic Affairs and Financiers includes, on the one hand, competent central offices concerning repression of the large financial delinquency ("blanchiment" of funds coming from illicit activities) as well as of the false monnayage and, on the other hand, national repression administration of all the other economic and financial infringement categories, counterfeiting and informatics delinquency.

Sub-Directorate of External Linkings includes structures to transverse competence to the range of the Judicial Police: management of cooperation submodules international operating (Interpol, Schengen, Europol), studies and perspectives, technical administration monitoring, formation and internal communication.

The Central offices and the management of the international cooperation have, each in their specific domain, information and operating coordination by relations to the other national administrations concerned. The territorial administration of the Judicial Police include: A regional Directorate of the Judicial Police (DRPJ) in Paris With 3.400 officials, it is competent in Paris intra-muros and in the three adjacent departments. 

The DRPJ of the prefecture of Police counts three Sub-Directorates including: central brigades: criminal businesses, banditry, illicit drug traffic and drug addiction, research and intervention, protection of minors; departmental administration and judicial Police divisions: three departmental administrations of judicial Police (adjacent departments of Paris), six divisions of Paris including judicial Police stations of district or quarter special station police stations; in financial and economic matters, ten judicial delegation staffs with the financial brigade.

19 regional administration of judicial Police (SRPJ) installed on the area of the metropolitan territory and in the region West Indies - Guyana, composed, each of technical, criminal and financial divisions. SRPJ have judicial Police detachments as well as, for some of them, particular units (researches and intervention brigades, regional inquiry brigade and coordination).

CRS - Companies for Republican Security/ Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité

Companies for Republican Security are mobile units forming the general reserve of the national police. Created after the Liberation to contribute to the restoration of the republican legality, they have since been then engaged during of insurrectional strikes of 1947-1948, then from 1952 to 1962 for law enforcement in the departments of Algeria. During the course of their fifty years of existence, CRS have seen their missions diversify, and today, along with restoration of public order and law enforcement, they provide support to most of the other missions of the Police. Thus CRS have assigned missione of road safety missions, policing major transportation routes at sea and in mountains, and they reinforce others administrations: in the mission of security they work with the staffs of the DCSP for the governmental struggle against small and common delinquency; with the staff of the DICCILEC they participate in port and airport security, and borders and communication channels with foreign countries; with the staff of the SPHP they contribute to escort and protection missions of the high personalities and to the official residence safety in France, and embassies abroad.

Their territorial organization is on three levels: a central administration with the general manager of the national Police in Paris; 9 Regional groupings installed at seats of defence regions; 61 dispersed companies across the metropolitan territory.

Additionally there are three continuous training stations and a dedicated station for the training for mountaineering and skiing. In total, CRS employs nearly 14 000 officials of all ranks (commissioners, officers, gradés and guardians) and thousand of technical and administrative agents.


GIGN is one of the world's busiest and best Counter-Terrorist units. Between 1974 and 1985 they participated in over 650 operations that freed over 500 hostages and eliminated dozens of terrorists. Over 1,000 have been arrested. In that same time they suffered 5 dead and dozens severely wounded (nine were wounded in the recent assault of Air France flight 8969). GIGN was initially formed in 1974 and was to be no greater than 100 operators. Since then it has never been larger than 90 members. GIGN has always been inventive and effective in their operations. In their operational debut, a takedown of a bus in Djibouti (February, 1976), sandwiches that were permitted by the terrorists to be fed to the hostages were drugged. The tranquilized hostages (30 school children) fell asleep, thus clearing the view for GIGN snipers. GIGN is also very well travelled. In addition to Djibouti, they have operated in New Caledonia, Lebanon, Sudan, and the Island nation of Comoros. Because GIGN operates all over the world, operators need to be able to function in a myriad of environments. They train in alpine and winter environments in addition to the urban. They are proficient in parachute insertions as well as SCUBA operations; it is reported that they make a jump in full SCUBA gear at least once a year. GIGN operators come exclusively from the ranks of the Gendarmerie. In order to be eligible, a volunteer needs a minimum of five years experience with an exemplary record. Reports have indicated that of those with this service record, as low as seven percent are excepted. After acceptance, operators are trained for ten months (keep in mind, these are officers that already have at least five years experience). GIGN operators are expected to know not only the weapons they deploy with, but also any possible weapons their adversaries might be equipped with. It's a 87men-strong unit designed to anti-terrorism and police operations (like SWATs ). It's organized in: four 15-men groups, a command and support squad, a talking and negotiation cell.
There are 5 officers: the CO (a major), a deputy commander plus 3 captains and lieutenants. All have undertaken a very hard selection course: 8 new gendarmes each year (on about one hundred pre-selected). But they become fully operational after one year of training and different stage and course: some become HAHO/HALO or undertake maritime training with the Navy's Commandos-Marine. Every new-member follows: fast-driving course, mountain training, intense shooting course (each member shoots 300 cartridges per day), close-combat: a derivate of the Israeli "Krav-Maga" , etc ...

Handguns: they mainly use a 357magnum revolver: the Manurhin MR73. They also use the Beretta 92F and the Sig-Sauer family.
Machine-Gun: The GIGN use the HK MP5 family: SD (Suppressed),A5,K ( an extremely compact weapon) with laser designator and light torch (flashlight).
Assault rifles: they use the HK G3, the French FAMAS (a very compact and smart weapon), and also the SIG S551.
Riot guns (shotguns): Remington 870, Benelli, and Beretta.
Sniping: Their main weapon with the MR73 handgun is the FRF1 (Fusil a Repetition modele F1) .And each gendarme receive his own MR73 and FRF1. It's 7.62mm NATO, 600m range rifle used with a Leupold or Zeiss ocular/glass (scope). They also use the McMillan and Barret .50 rifle for heavy sniping, although they now receive the French designed 12.7mm carabine Hecate 2.


In June, 1985 the French Police Nationale formed RAID in an effort to combat the rising amount of violent crime and terrorism sweeping through France at that time. Although not as well known as it's older counterpart, the GIGN, they have quickly gained an excellent reputation as a intervention unit that is able to respond quickly and professionally. They are known throughout France by their nickname "The Black Panthers" due to the design of their unit insignia and the black overalls and jackets worn by it's operators. 

RAID is tasked with "leading the National Police in tactical combat against serious crime and terrorism". Its principle missions include the following: Intervention in extreme criminal and terrorist attacks involving hijackings and hostage takings; Assisting other police and security agencies in dealing with violent criminal and terrorist organizations; Assisting other law enforcement agencies in securing large events of national and international importance; Protection of French VIPs, as well as foreign presidents and heads of state visiting France.

RAID, which is currently based Bievres (on the outskirts of Paris), is a relatively small unit consisting of 60 operators. The unit is organized into four 10-man assault groups, one 10-man specialist group (such as EOD personnel, hostage negotiators, and other specialists), and the balance forming the unit's command cadre. Prospective RAID operators are selected from experienced Nationale Police officers. The volunteers must be between 25 to 35 years old, have at least five years of job experience, and they must be in excellent physical condition. Volunteers from all over France apply, but only about 10 in 600 makes it through the arduous selection process. After selection, trainees undergo nine months of training before they are considered operators. The training course is designed to both physically and mentally demanding. The training includes intense physical conditioning, with both trainees and operators already in the unit undergoing at least six hours of physical training daily. Candidates are provided instruction in martial arts, tactical operations, combat and instinctive shooting techniques, rappelling, linear assaults (buses, aircraft, and trains), hostage rescue scenarios, heliborne assaults, high-speed driving techniques, surveillance training, combat medicine, even basic parachuting skills and maritime operations training. Some operators are also sent to attended military training courses and attain HALO/HAHO, and combat diver qualifications.

RAID's best known operation occurred on May 15, 1993, when a fifteen man RAID assault force ended a two-day stand off between police and a terrorist who had strapped 16 sticks of dynamite on his chest and taken 21 nursery school children and their teacher hostage. When microphones placed around the school by RAID members indicated that the terrorist, an Algerian named Eric Schmidt, was snoring, the unit jumped into action. One group formed a shield that began evacuating the hostages while another raced to the location that intelligence said Eric Schmidt was holed up. Woken by the running boots and sound of escaping children, he began to move menacingly towards the approaching RAID officers. Three .357 rounds ended his extortion attempt. The entire assault had lasted 30 seconds, and none of the hostages were killed. RAID, along with other French security and law enforcement agencies, has been heavily involved in combating a new wave of Islamic terrorism directed at France due to its support of the Algerian government. In a large scale operation conducted in November of 1994, RAID, and several other police and intelligence, launched a massive sweep to round up suspected members of known terrorist organizations. The sweep was successful in netting a large cache or weapons, explosives, ammunition, and other equipment. RAID is lavishly equipped with the best materials money can by. RAID operators are outfitted flame resistant coveralls, balaclavas, and gloves. RAID uses many of the same weapons GIGN uses but, unlike GIGN, RAID officers are permitted to select their own weapons. RAID's primary entry weapon is the HK-MP5 series of submachine guns. When long range firepower is needed RAID operators use the SIG SG551 5.56mm rifle. The primary pistols in use are the Matra-Manurhin MR-73 .357 revolver, and the Baretta 92FS pistol with the extended 20 round magazine, but personnel weapons such as the Glock 19 and Sig-Sauer family are gaining in popularity among team members. For its transportation needs RAID has access to the entire Ministry of the Interior fleet of vehicles and aircraft. The unit also maintains several specially modified vehicles at its base for ground transport.

Le Groupe de Combat en Milieu Clos (GCMC)

The GCMC (Close Quarters Combat Group) is an elite unit of the French Navy. Answering to COFUSCO(Commandement des Fusiliers Marins Commandos, the French Navy's special operations force command), the unit is tasked with conducting maritime counter terrorism (CT) missions. Formed in 1994, this highly trained unit of naval commandos specializes in conducting maritime assaults. Currently GCMC is composed of 17 men divided into two teams of 8 and a unit commander. Unit members are extensively trained in selective shooting, combat medicine, small boat handling, and CQB techniques. GCMC routinely conducts exercises with the Commando Hubert combat-diver unit's CT team and other allied CT teams. Unit members are armed with a variety of weapons including HK-MP5 series weapons, 12 gauge shotguns, 9mm auto loading pistols, and .357 cal revolvers.

Commando D'Action Sous Marine / Commando Hubert

Commando Hubert is a combat swimmer unit assigned to the French Navy's COFUSCO. The unit is tasked with conducting maritime special operations in support of the French Navy and intelligence services, primarily the DGSE (the French foreign intelligence directorate). The unit was initially raised during WWII as a commando-trained naval infantry unit. When first organized, Commando Hubert specialized in conducting amphibious operations, raids, and other direct-action missions. In 1953 the unit was converted to its current combat swimmer role. At that time the unit was stationed in Algeria and was conducting combat operations against communist rebels fighting for independence from France. The unit moved its base of operations from Algeria to its current home at Toulon during the late Fifties. The unit has been heavily involved in providing support to French units in their various interventions in Africa. They have also provided support to UN peace keeping operations. During the evacuation of the PLO from Beirut, Lebanon Commando Hubert divers were used to clear explosives from the hull of the ship transporting PLO chairman Yasar Arafat and to search the harbour for explosives. Commando Hubert has also been involved in supporting French nuclear tests in the South Pacific. Along with men of the assault commandos, they have conducted numerous ship boardings and maritime interdictions. As part of their ongoing support for these nuclear tests, they are believed to have been order by the DGSE to plant explosives on the ship Rainbow Warrior, which result in the death of an antinuclear protester. Commando Hubert divers have also been extremely active in testing the security of French naval facilities by conducting simulated raids on ships, submarines, and nuclear storage facilities.

Prospective unit members are selected from personnel currently serving in French Marine Commando units. They undergo training at the French Navy's dive school located at Saint-Mandrier, near Toulon. The school runs 17 separate courses for armed forces personnel. Perspective Commando Hubert members attend the schools combat diver course. The first phase of combat diver training consists of attaining the basic diver qualification. This phase of the training is open to all French naval personnel. The second phase of training is an advanced diving course and is restricted to combat divers and ordnance clearance (EOD) personnel. The combat diver course is open to male service personnel between 21-27 years old. As a prerequisite to entering training the candidate must also hold the basic diver and commando qualification. Naval personnel wishing to attend must have served four years in the Navy with at least 6 months in a marine commando unit, he must also receive a recommendation from his commander. Each November a list of 24 candidates is submitted to a selection board. After reviewing the candidates service record, 9-12 men are selected to attend the course. The course last 27 weeks and is broken down into 3 phases.

The first phase of training lasts 11 weeks. The first four weeks are devoted to learning basic diving skills and oxygen diving. During the fifth week students learn basic demolition skills. Over the next three weeks students are instructed in the use of rebreathers, under water navigation, and water borne insertions and the basics of small boat handling. The last three weeks of phase one consist of underwater navigation exercises.

Phase two also lasts 11 weeks, and is subdivided into four phases. The first portion of phase two lasts six weeks and includes instruction on conducting sabotage attacks on shipping, small boat handling, the use of the Klepper two-man kayak, and water navigation. The last two weeks of this phase consist of training exercises. During the exercises the students must successfully penetrate the harbour defences at Toulon and place a simulated charge on a ship and escape without being detected. To increase the difficulty of the task, the ship's crew and harbour security forces are forward of the impending attack. The second exercise consists of a simulated raid on the Isle of Porquerolles. The raid exercise lasts for one week. To complete this phase the students must pass one final exercise that combines all of the skills they have been taught so far; the exercise is conducted in the Atlantic Ocean along the Brest coastline.

The final phase of instruction lasts five weeks and is focused on underwater demolition, obstacle clearance, parachute operations (primarily water jumps with and without equipment), and underwater engineering. Upon completion of this phase the new divers are awarded the Combat Diver Qualification Badge, which consists of two sea horses imposed over an anchor and wings.

Upon completing the course the new diver is assigned to Commando Hubert for an initial three year period. During this period the divers are expected to attend the advanced combat diver course (a six-month course), master parachutist, and eventually the Jump Master course. After the initial three-year period with the unit, the diver can opt to extend his tour for three more years, become an instructor at the dive school, or attend additional training.

Currently Commando Hubert is composed of 80 men divided into two companies. The first company consists of 50 men and is subdivided into four sections designated A, B, C, and D. A section is the command and support section. It contains the unit HQ, and the units Hurricane RIBs. B section is the maritime counter terrorism (CT) section. The unit specializes in conducting underwater approaches to terrorist targets. They conduct joint operations with the Navy's GCMC and GIGN's diver section. In the event an assault was ordered on a target at sea, B section divers would act as guides for the GIGN team. C section is the SDV section. The divers of this section receive additional training in the use of SDV's and their maintenance. D section contains the units snipers and heavy weapons experts. The section is responsible for performing beach reconnaissance, shipping attacks, underwater demolition operations, providing heavy fire support, and testing new equipment for use by the unit. All members of D section are both HAHO and HALO qualified. There are currently plans on the board to form an E section. E section will consist of the units Hurricane RIBs, small boats, and support personnel drawn form the 2nd company. The 2nd company is a support unit made up of 30 men. Men are assigned to one of the company's teams which specialize in communications, SDV maintenance, logistics, or small boat operation and repair. The unit also has a French naval vessel, the Poseidon, set aside for its exclusive use. The ship acts as a floating base of operations and as a insertion vehicle for both divers and SDVs.

Commando Hubert has a variety of weapons available for its use, including assault rifles of various calibre and manufacture, 9mm auto loading pistols and .357magnum revolvers, 7.62mm and .50 cal. heavy sniping rifles, 40mm grenade launchers, light mortars, and assorted hand grenades depending on their mission. The units Hurricane RIBs are manufactured by Zodiac and are capable of transporting ten troops at speeds up to 50 MPH. Unit members are allowed a large amount of discretion in their selection of personnel equipment. Hard body armour and kevlar or spectra helmets are worn during CT operations. For other missions the unit prefers the light plastic Protec helmets favoured by many elite units

13eme Regiment de Dragon Parachutistes

The 13 RDP (13eme Regiment de Dragon Parachutistes) is currently the French Army's LRRP (Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol) unit. Originally raised in 1676 as a cavalry unit, it continued in this role until 1963, when it acquired its current mission. The Regiment is subordinate to the BGRE (the French Army's military intelligence and electronic warfare Brigade). Although not part of COS (the French Special Operations Command), the Regiment is tasked to support COS operations and regularly conducts training with COS units. The Regiment is currently composed of seven squadrons; three "search", or intelligence, squadrons, two long-range communications squadrons, and two training squadrons. The three search squadrons provide the Regiment's recon teams, while the training squadrons are responsible for providing in-house training courses and certifying new unit members. The two communications squadrons provide a secure communications link between deployed recon teams and higher headquarters. Search teams are capable of being inserted in an area by a number of different means including foot, parachute, or vehicle. A select number of personnel, including the Regiment's GCP (Commando Parachute Group) teams, are trained in conducting HALO and HALO operations. Other recon teams specialize in conducting vehicle mounted patrols. The vehicle-mounted teams are equipped with heavily armed P-4 jeeps and Peugeot motorcycles. The 13e RDP conducted a number of reconnaissance missions for the Allied coalition during the Gulf War. One three man team was captured by the Iraqis while conducting a border reconnaissance mission. The team was repatriated after the cease-fire agreement. The Regiment has also deployed teams to support French humanitarian and peace-keeping operations in Africa, particularly in France's former colonies. Most recently the Regiment has reportedly deployed a squadron to support NATO combat operations in the former Republic of Yugoslavia.

The Regiment is equipped with most standard French Army material, but has access to specialized weapons and equipment on an as-needed basis. In the event that a "silenced" weapon is required teams can be equipped with HK MP5SD series of sub machine guns. When heavy fire power is deemed necessary, recon teams are known to carry the US manufactured M-203 40mm grenade launcher, and the Belgium produces 5.56mm Minimi LMG (US M-249 SAW). Vehicle mounted teams may arm their selected mode of transport with a variety of heavy weapons including Browning .50 cal heavy machine guns, US MK-19 40 mm automatic grenade launchers, and light machine guns.


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