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April 21, 2021

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Rotary sponsors talk from member of French counter terrorism unit

Several Ada service organizations, hosted by the Ada Rotary will hear Maj. LeBlanc, who is a member of the National Gendarmerie, which is a branch of the French Armed Forces, in charge of public safety, with police duties among the civilian population. The meeting is at noon, Tuesday, June 26, at The Inn at ONU.

The GIGN (French: Groupe d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale, English: National Gendarmerie Intervention Group), is the French Armed Forces' elite counter terrorism/tactical unit.

Since its creation, the group has taken part in over 1000 operations, liberated over 500 hostages, arrested over 1000 suspects, and killed 12 terrorists. The unit has seen two members killed in action, and seven in training, since its foundation, and two of its dogs in action and one in training.

Past actions include:
The liberation of 30 school children from a school bus captured by the FLCS (Front de Libération de la Côte des Somalis, "Somali Coast Liberation Front") in Djibouti in 1976.

Planning the liberation of diplomats from the French embassy in San Salvador in 1979 (the hostage-takers surrendered before the assault was conducted).

GIGN commandos were instrumental in regaining control during the Grand Mosque Seizure in Mecca, Saudi Arabia in November and December 1979.

Arrest of a Corsican terrorist of the National Liberation Front of Corsica in Fesch Hostel in 1980.

Liberation of hostages of the Ouvéa cave hostage taking in Ouvea in the New Caledonia in May 1988.

Protection of the 1992 Olympic Winter Games in Albertville.

In December 1994, the liberation of 229 passengers and crew from Air France Flight 8969 in Marseille. The plane, hijacked by four GIA terrorists that wished to destroy the Eiffel Tower, had been completely mined, and three passengers had been executed during the negotiations with the Algerian government. The mission was widely publicized.

Arrest of Bob Denard in 1995 in Comoros.

Operations in Bosnia to arrest persons indicted for war crimes.

Seizing of 6 Somali pirates and recovery of part of the ransom after making sure "Le Ponant" luxury yacht hostages were freed in the coast of Puntland in Somalia on the Gulf of Aden. In conjunction with French Commandos Marines (Naval commandos) in April 2008.

The GIGN was selected by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to teach the special forces of the other member states in hostage-rescue exercises aboard planes.