LILLE, France –Lieutenant General Laurent Kolodziej handed over the command of the Rapid Reaction Corps-France (RRC-FR) on August 29, 2019, to Lieutenant General Pierre Gillet during a ceremony in the Citadel's Place d'Armes.
Kolodziej commanded the RRC-FR after he previously served as the Chief of Staff of the same HQ during one of the most important periods for the unit, the stand-by as a Joint Task Force Headquarters in 2017. The French general will move to Strasbourg, France as the new EUROCORPS commander.
“There is a certain pride to take the command of this Headquarters,” said incoming command, Gillet. “We inherit a valuable human and operational experience that we have to cultivate further.”
Gillet has carried the Chief of Staff duties of the RRC-FR starting July 2018 after his promotion to the rank of major general in August 2017.
He began his 30 years of military service at the 2nd Foreign Legion Infantry Regiment in Nîmes, France on 1 August 1989. His appointments include: Deputy Head of Human Resources of the French Joint Staff, Deputy Planning Officer of the Joint Operations Centre and 6thLight Armored Brigade Commander.
LTG Gillet completed the General Staff Course and joint Staff College in Paris and was deployed multiple times in theatres of operations outside national territory.
The change of command ceremony took place at the Headquarters location, in the heart of the Citadel of Lille, a fortification built in the 17thcentury. It was presided over by Lieutenant General Vincent Guionie, commander of the French Land Forces.
The RRC-FR is a multinational Headquarters with France as a framework nation that meets all NATO standards. With around 430 soldiers from 14 allied nations, the RRC-FR is the highest deployable corps-level Headquarters within the French Land Forces.
The HQ can conduct joint or land-centric operations, both under the NATO or EU umbrellas, but as well under French command or in a coalition. Also, around 80 staff members of the RRC-FR deploy every year to reinforce national or international operations. In this way, the RRC-FR is a key actor in the cooperation between French Land Force and its Allies.