GIGN Groupe d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale National Gendarmerie Intervention Group
The GIGN is the national gendarmerie intervention group. Created in 1974, it totals nearly 400 men and women, to various profiles (protection, intervention and negotiation). The elite unit conducts counter-terrorism missions, protection of personalities abroad or fight against banditry. The elite of the French gendarmerie stands in rural areas or on the hijacked airplanes, the image of the famous assault from 1994 to the airport of Marignane (Marseilles) during the taking of hostages by the GIA of passengers on an Air France flight.
Originally divided into several local or specialized groups, the GIGN was reorganized in 2007 and now includes presidential protection brigades and units of paratroopers elites created in the meantime. In total, counting the staff and service departments, this cluster is composed of 380 men. The actual intervention section is made up of 100 men (must be aged under 40 years).
In 2007, the GIGN was added to other intervention groups, under the FNIF (National Police Intervention Force). It occurs especially in situations of counter-terrorism air, maritime, rail, hostage of large-scale buildings or the particular environments as nuclear power plants, prisons or desert, mountain or forest areas.
Other less publicized organizations also exist. Among these, the AID (Recherche Assistance Intervention and deterrence) and the intervention of the national police (GIPN) group. The latter form the regional offices of the Raid (Bordeaux, Marseille, Lille, Lyon, Nice, Rennes and Strasbourg and three "ultra-marins": Noumea, Pointe-à-Pitre and Saint-Denis - Mayotte, Réunion-). The creation of the GIPN was above those of the Raid and the GIGN. It was motivated in the aftermath of the murder of the Israeli athletes at the Munich Games in 1972 by PLO terrorists. The missions also focus on hostage-taking, terrorist attacks or riots.
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