13e DBLE: 2nd Company in Djibouti 2020

As the other regiments of the French Foreign Legion in 2020, even the 13th Foreign Legion Half Brigade (13e DBLE) have deployed several of its companies overseas, including the “Cheetahs” of the 2nd Combat Company. The latter returned back to the former homeland of the 13e DBLE, Djibouti in the Horn of Africa. See some images.

The 2nd Company legionnaires, nicknamed “Cheetahs” (due to their new insignia) arrived in Djibouti in mid-February. In this strategically located country, the 13th Half-Brigade spent almost 50 years of its existence (1962-2011) as the main core of the French garrison. The then 2nd Company had served as a construction works company of the regiment since 1970 until 1998, its inactivation. Reactivated in France almost twenty years later, in 2017, it became a combat company again.

Djibouti, a former overseas territory of France (until 1977), is home to several foreign military bases now. Besides the current French base (the former 13e DBLE camp, Quartier Monclar, in the capital), it includes that one of the United States, China, Japan, Germany, Italy or Spain.

The French are represented in Djibouti by the 5e RIAOM (Overseas Combined Regiment, it replaced the 13e DBLE there in 2011), a combined unit consisting of rotational units coming from different branches of the French Army (including the Legion), alternating every four months. The Foreign Legion infantry regiments arm the 5e RIAOM infantry units, while the Legion cavalrymen and engineers constitute its cavalry and engineer units.

On February 19, 2020, an official ceremony took place at the Quartier Monclar to present newly arrived French units to General Eric Gernez, the French Forces in Djibouti commander, and to receive 5e RIAOM company fanions. The 2nd Company, 13e DBLE has become 1st Company, 5e RIAOM and will remain in Djibouti until June.

13e DBLE - 2nd Company - Djibouti - 2020
General Eric Gernez reviews the 2nd Company, 13e DBLE in Djibouti, 19 February 2020. Note that the company is equipped with Famas FÉLIN, not the HK 416 F rifles.
13e DBLE - 2nd Company - Djibouti - 2020
Company commander of the 2nd Company, 13e DBLE salutes the freshly received fanion of the 1st Company, 5e RIAOM, borne by a Staff Sergeant of his company.
13e DBLE - 2nd Company - Djibouti - 2020
2nd Company, 13e DBLE legionnaires present arms to salute the Regimental color of the 5e RIAOM in Djibouti, 19 February 2020.


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13e DBLE: 400 legionnaires ready to deploy to Africa