The 1er Régiment Parachutiste d’ Infanterie de Marine, is part of the french special forces, depending on the COS (commandement des opérations spéciales), since 1960.
Like many French special forces, the group was created in 1940 during WWII, in England. This is the reason for their motto: who dares wins, in honor of the English SAS who trained them.
They are part of Armee de Terre, but were first part of the British SAS, called “the French Squadron”.
After WWII, they fought mainly in French colonies, like Indochine, or Algeria.
The 1er RPIMa is based in Bayonne, and is composed of 900 operators. They are divided into Sticks d’Action Special (SAS). In total, there are 27 sticks.
They have 6 main missions, divided into 4 main groups.
- GDC=body guard
- PATSAS=motorised action
- Chuteurs OPS=high-altitude parachuting
- SAS PO=diving action
- 1er Regiment=SAS PO
- 2eme Regiment=specialized in extreme environments (mountain, jungle,etc..)
- 3eme Regiment=PATSAS, doing reconnaissance
- 4eme Regiment=specialized in urban environment
To be a 1er RPIMa’s operator, there are some basics conditions:
- Between 18 and 27 years old
- Have the french nationality
- A very good physical condition
- measure at less 1,65m
- Have the Baccalaureate Diploma
- Be strong mentally
The formation lasts 20 months, with 8 of basic formation and selection, and 12 of specialized formation.
The 1er RPIMa, as all the special forces, has high-tech equipment. The main shotgun is the HK-416, and the secondary gun is the Glock 17.