More from my helicopter training day with RAID.
After a first fast rope assault to free the hostages , operators are boarding the  super puma helicopter again for another try with a slightly different tactic.


So this is the famous unit that was training with those puma helicopters : French Police Nationale RAID.
It was really a blast to be able to work with them, even though everything went very fast !
No time for some nice posing here, they were fast roping from the pumas and assaulting an abandoned  house to free some hostages.
The challenge for me was to try and stay under the rotors ( thank you ski mask & ear protection !) and then to run with them to the building, a couple of hundreds meters away were the hostages were kept.


So friday was another helicopter shooting day for me. It was a 9 hours drive to get there and back for only 2 hours of actual photo shooting but it was worth it !
There was 2 super puma, but I was not there for them but rather to see a very famous french unit working and maneuvering with them. You will learn and see more soon here on this blog and in the usual magazines.
...And no the picture is not photoshoped ! the Helo is actually in sky, the rotor blades are "frozen" because of the camera shutter speed  :-)


French Gendarmerie "PI2G" (Peloton d'intervention de seconde génération)



Operator with Brügger GL06 40mm grenade launcher.


So I am back from the qualification course with french Army "combat divers".
It was great fun ! Two sleepless nights along or on a river where I froze my ass on a R.I.B boat, desperately trying to find some good photo opportunity in a pitch dark night...
I am sure the guys hate me now for illuminating them all night with my strobe light ;-)
All the pics and the full story after the summer in RAIDS magazine !


French Police Nationale officer from "BAC" (Brigade Anti-Criminalité).
As a photographer, it's always interesting to work with officers who have that kind of "movie actor" look and personality.


Special force operator with Brügger GL06 40mm grenade launcher.


French Army "combat divers".
I am going to follow them again next week during the last days of their training / selection.
It is going to be a tactical raid (night and day) and there might be some nice picture opportunity !


Urban assault training for this operator from French Gendarmerie "PI2G" (Peloton d'intervention de seconde génération)