13e DBLE: BACCARAT 2019 starts today

In northeastern France, in the regions of Champagne and Alsace, a large multinational ten-day exercise starts today: BACCARAT 2019. The exercise is aimed at adaptation to air assault and its perfection. It has been organized since 2017, by the 4th Air Assault Brigade (4e BAC). Apart from British, Spanish and French military helicopter units, the Foreign Legion’s 13th Half Brigade (13e DBLE) also participates in the exercise.

Four joint military groups (helicopters + infantry troops) are involved in the realistic exercise with live fire. Three of them are based around the 1st, 3rd and 5th Helicopter Regiments of the French Army. The fourth joint group is a battalion-sized multinational task force, consisting of Spanish and British helicopters (Apache, WildCat and Chinook), and the 13e DBLE legionnaires. The four groups will be supported by three commando units (air, mountain, intelligence) and by engineer + artillery + train elements. Altogether, almost 1,500 participants and about 40 helicopters from 21 military units.

The 4e BAC was established in 2016, as a result of a new reorganization and modernization of the French Army. This year, the 13e DBLE was selected as a regiment to be adapted to air assault operations, conducted in urban warfare or in remote areas.

13e DBLE - 2019 - Air Assault
13e DBLE legionnaires during an air assault exercise in 2019


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