French commando frogmen
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 has a large commando frogman tradition. Jacques-Yves Cousteau
Jacques-Yves Cousteau
Jacques-Yves Cousteau was a French naval officer, explorer, ecologist, filmmaker, innovator, scientist, photographer, author and researcher who studied the sea and all forms of life in water...

 was a naval officer in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 and helped much to set up France's commando frogmen. France further developed the role of commando frogmen in the First Indochina War
First Indochina War
The First Indochina War was fought in French Indochina from December 19, 1946, until August 1, 1954, between the French Union's French Far East...


Since the 1950s, the commando frogmen of the French Navy
French Navy
The French Navy, officially the Marine nationale and often called La Royale is the maritime arm of the French military. It includes a full range of fighting vessels, from patrol boats to a nuclear powered aircraft carrier and 10 nuclear-powered submarines, four of which are capable of launching...

 have been together in the Commando Hubert, the only Commando marine
Naval commandos (France)
The Naval Commandos are the special forces of the French Navy. They are made up of ~500 members, mostly based in northwestern France , with several bases across the country for specific training needs. The Naval Commandos are nicknamed bérets verts . Their qualification training is one of the...

having combat swimmers. They operate from the ship Le Malin, and this is a very elite special forces unit.

The French intelligence service DGSE
Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure
The General Directorate for External Security is France's external intelligence agency. Operating under the direction of the French ministry of defence, the agency works alongside the DCRI in providing intelligence and national security, notably by performing paramilitary and counterintelligence...

 has also combat-swimmers brought together in the Centre Parachutiste d'Entrainement aux Opérations Maritimes (CPEOM, "maritime operations training parachutist center") at Roscanvel. First, the two unit were one.

While these are the only French combat-diver units, other French units have divers, including:
  • the military engineer
    Military engineer
    In military science, engineering refers to the practice of designing, building, maintaining and dismantling military works, including offensive, defensive and logistical structures, to shape the physical operating environment in war...

     units of the French Army
    French Army
    The French Army, officially the Armée de Terre , is the land-based and largest component of the French Armed Forces.As of 2010, the army employs 123,100 regulars, 18,350 part-time reservists and 7,700 Legionnaires. All soldiers are professionals, following the suspension of conscription, voted in...

     have two types of divers:
    • the spécialistes d'aide au franchissement (SAF, "specialists for help in clearing"): swimmers trained to recon and clear banks and bridges to permit their use by military vehicles.
    • the nageurs d'intervention offensive (NIO, swimmers ""for offensive actions"): they accomplish missions similar to combat swimmers but in rivers and estuaries, to destroy bridges inside enemy territory for example and belong to an engineer-regiment.
  • some commando units like the commando group of the 2nd foreign parachutist regiment and the special unit forces of the Army and the Air Force have combat swimmers.
  • the GIGN
    Groupe d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale
    The National Gendarmerie Intervention Group, commonly abbreviated GIGN , is a special operations unit of the French Armed Forces. It is part of the National Gendarmerie and is trained to perform counter-terrorist and hostage rescue missions in France or anywhere else in the world.The GIGN was...

     and RAID
    Recherche Assistance Intervention Dissuasion
    Recherche Assistance Intervention Dissuasion or RAID is, like the GIPN, a Special Operations tactical unit of the National Police with more manpower and equipment...

     counter-terrorist groups have divers trained to assault a hijacked ship.

List of operations

Not all of these operations involved diving.
  • 1982-1984: Lebanon
    Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

  • 1985 July 10: Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior
    Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior
    The sinking of the Rainbow Warrior, codenamed Opération Satanique, was an operation by the "action" branch of the French foreign intelligence services, the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure , carried out on July 10, 1985...

     in Auckland
    The Auckland metropolitan area , in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest and most populous urban area in the country with residents, percent of the country's population. Auckland also has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world...

     harbor in New Zealand
    New Zealand
    New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

     with limpet mine
    Limpet mine
    A limpet mine is a type of naval mine attached to a target by magnets; they are so named because of their superficial similarity to the limpet, a type of mollusk....

    s. A civilian aboard the Rainbow Warrior died.
  • 1987: Actions in the Persian Gulf
    Persian Gulf
    The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

  • 1988 May 5: a hostage rescue in New Caledonia
    New Caledonia
    New Caledonia is a special collectivity of France located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, east of Australia and about from Metropolitan France. The archipelago, part of the Melanesia subregion, includes the main island of Grande Terre, the Loyalty Islands, the Belep archipelago, the Isle of...

    : see Ouvéa cave hostage taking
    Ouvéa cave hostage taking
    The Ouvéa cave hostage taking was an event occurring from April 22, 1988 to May 5, 1988 in which members of the separatist group the National Union for Independence-Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front took 27 including a French gendarme and a judge hostage in the island of Ouvéa, New...

  • 1991: Embargo in the Persian Gulf
    Persian Gulf
    The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

  • 1992 December - 1993: Somalia
    Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

    : Operation Restore Hope.
  • 1994: Rwanda
    Rwanda or , officially the Republic of Rwanda , is a country in central and eastern Africa with a population of approximately 11.4 million . Rwanda is located a few degrees south of the Equator, and is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo...

    : evacuating foreign nationals caught up in a civil war.
  • 1997 March - 2000: Mission Alba in Albania
    Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

  • 1999: Operation Allied Force
    Operation Allied Force
    The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia was NATO's military operation against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War. The strikes lasted from March 24, 1999 to June 10, 1999...

     in FR Yugoslavia.
  • 2001 July: Security at the G8
    The Group of Eight is a forum, created by France in 1975, for the governments of seven major economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 1997, the group added Russia, thus becoming the G8...

     meeting in Genoa
    Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

     in Italy
    Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

  • 2001 October: Afghanistan
    Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

     and/or Philippines
    The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

    : Operation Enduring Freedom.
  • 2008 September: French naval commandos freed two hostages (Jean-Yves and Bernadette Delanne) held by Somali Pirates aboard their yacht off the coast of Somalia
    Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

     and killing one gunman and capturing six.

See also

  • SEAL Team Six
    United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group
    The United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group , commonly known as DEVGRU and informally by its former name SEAL Team Six , is one of the United States' four secretive counter-terrorism and Special Mission Units .The vast majority of information about DEVGRU is highly classified, and...

  • US Navy SEALs
    United States Navy SEALs
    The United States Navy's Sea, Air and Land Teams, commonly known as Navy SEALs, are the U.S. Navy's principal special operations force and a part of the Naval Special Warfare Command as well as the maritime component of the United States Special Operations Command.The acronym is derived from their...

  • CIA
    Central Intelligence Agency
    The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

     Special Activities Division
    Special Activities Division
    The Special Activities Division is a division in the United States Central Intelligence Agency's National Clandestine Service responsible for covert operations known as "special activities"...

  • Marine Force Recon
    United States Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance
    The Force Reconnaissance Companies , are one of the United States Marine Corps's special operations "capable" forces that provide essential elements of military intelligence to the command element of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force ; supporting the landing or joint task force commanders, and...

  • Special Boat Service
    Special Boat Service
    The Special Boat Service is the special forces unit of the British Royal Navy. Together with the Special Air Service, Special Reconnaissance Regiment and the Special Forces Support Group they form the United Kingdom Special Forces and come under joint control of the same Director Special...

     from UK Special Forces
    Italian commando frogmen
    COMSUBIN is the elite combat frogman force and one of the Italian special forces....

     from Italian special forces
    Italian special forces
    The Italian Special Forces include special forces units from several branches of the Italian Military: the Esercito Italiano or Army, the Marina Militare or Navy, the Aeronautica Militare or Air force and l'Arma dei Carabinieri...

External links

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