13e DBLE: 2022 Operation Barkhane

Since early June 2022, an important part of the 13th Foreign Legion Half Brigade (13e DBLE) has been deployed to West Africa to take part in anti-terrorist Operation Barkhane.

In West Africa, several companies of the half-brigade, including their commanding officer, Colonel Aubry, formed a desert combined task force, called GTD Monclar. The task-force is named after General Monclar, who led the 13e DBLE during WWII and who later became the head of the Foreign Legion, as well as the head of the French Battalion in the Korean War in the early 1950s, where the unit served as part of the U.S. Army.

Operation Barkhane, launched in 2014 in the Sahel region of Africa, is aimed at local terrorist groups and their supporters carrying out all forms of trafficking, including drugs and weapons, in the uninhabited, remote parts of the Saharan desert. The operation is the successor of Operation Serval, the French military mission in Mali between 2013 and 2014, and Operation Epervier, the military mission in Chad between 1986 and 2014.

The GTD Monclar task force is to operate mainly in Mali, for a few months. In fact, early this year, the Malian leaders asked France to withdraw its forces as soon as possible. French President Macron replied in March, that the withdrawing from Mali would occur over the next four to six months. That means the 13e DBLE legionnaires are probably the last French task force to operate in this country.

In 2018, the same task force of the 13e DBLE operated in Mali.

13e DBLE: 2022 Operation Barkhane
Colonel Aubry, the head of the 13e DBLE, in Mali in June 2022.
13e DBLE: 2022 Operation Barkhane
A ceremony to commemorate the 1942 Battle of Bir Hakeim in which the 13e DBLE participated. Mali, June 2022.
13e DBLE: 2022 Operation Barkhane
13e DBLE legionnaires in Mali, June 2022.

Related posts:
Operation Barkhane: Immersion in the three-border region
1er REC: Neutralisation of two terrorists during Operation Barkhane in Mali
13e DBLE: Foreign Legion’s Designated Marksmen Meeting 2022
13e DBLE: Exercise Polaris 21