In March 2014, an exercise took part at the Regimental camp of the 13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion (13e DBLE), based in the desert of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a country located in the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula, Southwest Asia, bordering the Persian Gulf.
The GPLEM is an acronym of a very little-known independent motorized infantry unit of the French Foreign Legion, the Moroccan Foreign Legion Motorized Group. The group served in Morocco (Africa) for 10 years, after the end of World War II. The GPLEM originated in the autonomous mounted and motorized Legion units being left in Morocco in 1943, while Legion infantry regiments were disbanded and its legionnaires formed the Foreign Legion Regimental Combat Team (RMLE) in Algeria, for the purpose of joining the fights in Europe. See the GPLEM history & images.
On April 9, the 6th Light Armoured Brigade (6e BLB, composed of three Legion regiments and two “regular” regiments) was participating in the Hannibal exercise. Its title refers to the well-known Punic Carthaginian military commander, who crossed the Pyrenees and the Alps into northern Italy during the Second Punic War. During that march, Hannibal crossed also the Rhône river in todays France. Legionnaires-engineers from the 1st Foreign Engineer Regiment (1er REG), while using their engineering facilities, helped simulate Hannibal’s crossing of the river in modern conditions. More than 200 military vehicles of the 6e BLB participated in this operation.
The Foreign Legion has always some of its units deployed outside of France. See the French Foreign Legion operations in March 2014.
During February and March of 2014, young legionnaires arriving to the 2nd Foreign Engineer Regiment (2e REG), a mountain warfare regiment of the Foreign Legion, were participating in the course of basic mountain military skills to obtain the Military Skier Certificate (Brevet de Skieur Militaire, BSM) and its badge.