FromWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia Thisarticledoesnotciteanysources.Pleas..">

Special Operations Command (France)

Special Operations Command (France)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
France's Special Operations Command
Founded 24 June 1992
Country  France
Type Special operations
Role Provide fully capable special operations forces to defend France and its interests and plan and synchronize operations against terrorist networks

3,746 authorized personnel

  • 307 general staff
  • 3,439 operatives
Part of Ministry of Defence
Headquarters Balard, Paris, France
Nickname(s) COS
Contre Admiral Laurent Isnard, French Navy

The Commandement des Opérations Spéciales (COS; "Special Operations Command") is the organisation which coordinates the use of the French special forces of all military branches (Army, Navy, and Air Force). Similar to USSOCOM or UKSF, COS was created on 24 June 1992, following the Gulf War. Its role is to direct and coordinate missions for special forces units; these are permanently under its direct command and immediately available for action. The command is led by a brigadier general or rear admiral, a NATO OF-6 post.


The COS consists of 2 known “circles”. COS does not officially recognise the 2nd circle but it’s a well known term used by members and units. Circles are basically tiers. COS Command do not officially recognise any tier 2 units however tier 2 or 2nd circle operators receive better gear than a standard infantryman eg. they have access to Scar rifles and they also conduct more specialized missions and are essentially special operation capable to a certain extent. The 1st circle is under permanent COS command and the 2nd circle being called in for reinforcement. In the end, the COS can commandeer any members of the armed forces for special operations if necessary. There is no official documentation confirming the term “2nd circle".

Tier 1 Units



Air Force[edit]

  • Air Parachute Commando n° 10, CPA 10 (French: Commando parachutiste de l'air n° 10) (CPA 10; "No. 10 Air Parachute Commando")
  • Division des Opérations Spéciales (DOS; "Special Operations Division")
    • Division des Opérations Spéciales/Transport (DOS/T; "Special Operations Division, Transport section") today, the Escadron de transport 3/61 "Poitou" – Uses C-130 Hercules and C-160 Transall.
    • Division des Opérations Spéciales / Hélicoptères (DOS/H; "Special Operations Division, Helicopter section"). Integrated into the 4th RHFS.

Tier 2 Units (not officially recognised)


Air Force[edit]

  • Air Parachute Commando n° 20, CPA 20 (French: Commando parachutiste de l'air n° 20) (CPA 20; "No. 20 Air Parachute Commando")
  • Air Parachute Commando n° 30, CPA 30 (French: Commando parachutiste de l'air n° 30) (CPA 30; "No. 30 Air Parachute Commando")


Other special operations forces under the command of DGSE's Action Division

The COS is not in charge of all special military units within the French Armed Forces. Action Division of France's Directorate-General for External Security (DGSE) is responsible for planning and performing clandestine and covert operations including black operations. The core specialisations of the Action Division are sabotage, destruction of materiel, assassination, detaining/kidnapping, and infiltration/exfiltration of persons into/from hostile territory.

DGSE operatives are based in three so-called "training centres", officially not combat units then, which compose the Centre d'Instruction des Réservistes Parachutistes (CIRP, "Paratrooper Reservist Instruction Centre"):

  • The Centre Parachutiste d'Entraînement Spécialisé (CPES, "Paratrooper Specialised Training Centre") in Cercottes for clandestine operations
  • The Centre Parachutiste d'Instruction Spécialisée (CPIS, "Paratrooper Specialised Instruction Centre") in Perpignan for special commandos. The CPIS is the successor of the Centre d'entraînement à la Guerre Spéciale (CEGS, "Training Centre for Special Warfare")
  • The Centre Parachutiste d'Entraînement aux Opérations Maritimes (CPEOM, "Paratrooper Training Centre for Maritime Operations") in Quelern, which instructs combat divers. The CPEOM is the successor of the Centre d'Instruction des Nageurs de Combat d'Aspretto.

See also

External links

Related Blogs

Loading ...