Since June 29, 2016, the 13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion (13e DBLE) of the French Foreign Legion has been officially based in mainland France, after 76 years. It left the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where the reduced unit (about 60 permanent personnel) was stationed between 2011-16.
Due to the reorganization of the French Army, the 13e Demi-Brigade had to left Africa in 2011 and the UAE in 2016. On Wednesday of June 29, Lieutenant colonel Guillaume Percie du Sert, the new commanding officer of the 13e DBLE, received its regimental colors from the hands of Army general Jean-Pierre Bosser (the head of the French Army Command) at Camp Larzac, Aveyron department, southern France, the new official home to the 13e DBLE.
Ironically, the 13e DBLE has been placed at the same military camp, at which the unit arrived right after its establishment in March 1940, and where it received its designation (then 13e DBMLE).
The camp is commonly using by French Army units, including those from the Foreign Legion, to conduct military exercises there. By the way, the then existing 61e BMGL was based at the camp between 1978-82, to modernize the site.
Today, the CEITO (Operational Shooting Training Center) is placed within the camp and attached to the 13e DBLE.
Being currently composed of two combat companies, one HQ half-company + a CEITO company (100 personnel), numbering together some 460 men, the 13e DBLE would expand to a full-strength regiment in 2018. It would consist of about 1,200 legionnaires.
The 13e DBLE was the last Foreign Legion unit to leave Africa and one of the two last Foreign Legion units having been stationed outside France since 1945. The last one is the 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment (3e REI), currently based in French Guiana, South America.
Ministère de la défense
MidiLibre: L’arrivée officielle de la Légion sur le Larzac