The French Air Force is for the first time promoting its special forces unit in a bid to recruit civilians as an addition to the existing 750 personnel assigned to the Special Operations Command.
The service previously recruited solely from the military but is now looking to diversify the talent pool with a mix of experienced and young unskilled recruits from the civilian world, Air Force Gen. Louis Fontant said Jan. 11 during a weekly briefing at the Armed Forces Ministry.
That recruitment stands in stark contrast to a previous policy that forbade any communication about the special forces, which draw on the Air Force, Army and Navy for personnel and equipment.
“Before, there was strict confidentiality about special operations, so the special forces were not allowed to talk about themselves,” he said. The recruitment problem lay in “not communicating. Now we have to do it.”