On January 28th, 2013 roughly 200 men boarded three C-160s and two C-130s located at an airfield just outside of the city Abidjan, in the Ivory Coast. Their mission is to conduct a static line combat parachute jump into the North of Timbuktu in order to deny the Islamists an escape route into the Northern deserts.
The men were all part of the 11th Parachute Brigade of the French Army, an airborne unit with roughly 8,500 paratroopers. The assault package consisted of a company-plus element from the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment – 2e Régiment étranger de parachutistes or simply 2e REP. The 2e REP is the only French Foreign Legion unit in the 11th Parachute Brigade as well as the only airborne unit in the Legion. The assault force was also supplemented by a company element from the 17th Parachute Engineer Regiment (17e Régiment de Génie Parachutiste/17e RGP) also part of the 11th Parachute Brigade.
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@OndroRajkovic http://youtu.be/GF83OOFkSikyup, the airborn op is relatively smaller, but the rest of the offensive is actually pretty large scale: - 1 Armored Combined Squadron (built around the 1st RIMa/Marine Infantry Regiment) out of Gap just crossed 550km of desert and arrived in Tessalit today (including wheel armored vehicles, VBCIs and SPGs.) This unit was airlifted in Niamey (Niger) around the 31st of January (distance Niamey->Gao: 450km) - The Tchad Battlegroup with a French SOF element drove 400km from Kidal to Tessalit in the same time frame. - A SOF element(CPA10?) jumped on Tessalit airport, secured it and then a re-inforced platoon from the 1st RCP out of Kidal (regular para regiment) completed an air-assault to consolitade the position. Tonight (morning there), about 2000 coalition soldiers are in and around Tessalit and the Adrar des Ifoghas, less than 100km away from the Algerian border. Impressive, since 24h ago, the closest French soldier was 400km south of there.
Apparently there was another airborne operation in the northern part of Mali closer to the western side of Adrar des Ifoghas. It was in smaller scale, this time. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=491924357519961&set=a.339889002723498.75992.290726467639752&type=1&relevant_count=1&ref=nf
@TimUFR Hi. I found this article today and with the pathetic help of google translator I was able to glimpse some information. It look like good basic description that may prove helpful. Could I ask you for help with translation? Thankshttp://www.lepoint.fr/editos-du-point/jean-guisnel/mali-les-mots-de-la-guerre-partie-1-31-01-2013-1622464_53.php
@Iassen Donov that's against the law! using your bandwidth. Did you send the bandwidth police after him?
I love getting ripped - http://www.strikehold.net/2013/02/05/french-foreign-legion-paratroopers-conduct-a-combat-parachute-assault-in-mali/ Didn't even have the decency of saving the images as his own - directly linked to SOFREP. lol