13th Foreign Legion Demi-Brigade

13e DBLE insignia13e Demi-Brigade de Légion Étrangère, 13e DBLE. The only demi-brigade (half-brigade) of the Foreign Legion and the last demi-brigade within the current French Army. Since June 2016, the 13e DBLE has been stationed at Camp Larzac, near La Cavalerie in Southern France, and has become one of the largest and most modernized French infantry regiments.

From August 2011 to June 2016, the considerably reduced 13e DBLE (only 60 permanent Legion personnel) served in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and operated a desert warfare training camp located close to Abu Dhabi, the capital. From 1962 to 2011, the 13e DBLE was stationed in the Quartier Général Monclar in Djibouti, Africa, as the last Foreign Legion unit permanently based on this continent.

The unit was activated in North Africa in February 1940. Considered a mountain warfare unit that comprised two battalions only, it was designated demi-brigade, instead of a regiment. And because of the existence of other two Foreign Legion provisional units formed in 1939 and 1940, the 11e REI and 12e REI, the new unit got the number 13.

The 13th Demi-Brigade fought in WWII campaigns in Norway, Eritrea, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Italy and France. After the war, it participated in the First Indochina War (1946-54) and the Algerian War (1955-62).

During its service in Djibouti, it took part in the Loyada Hostage Rescue Mission, and saw actions – among others – in Somalia, Rwanda, Yemen, Ivory Coast, and the Central African Republic. Recently, the 13e DBLE men deployed to the Sahel region in Sub-Saharan Africa and carried out missions in Mayotte, French Guiana, Martinique, Réunion, or Djibouti.

13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion promotion


History of the 13th Foreign Legion Demi-Brigade

See the history of the 13e DBLE between 1940 and 2022. Well-ordered data including dozens of photographs covering all historical periods, from the Norwegian Campaign to its current service in France: History of the 13th Foreign Legion Demi-Brigade

13e Demi-Brigade de Légion Étrangère - DBLE - 13 DBLE - 13th Foreign Legion Demi-Brigade - History


Current structure of the 13th Foreign Legion Demi-Brigade

The regiment is divided (in 2023) into 8 companies composed of around 1,300 men. A reserve company being composed of non-Legion reservists is also assigned to the 13e DBLE. In the UAE from 2011 to 2016, the unit comprised only 70 permanent officers, NCOs, legionnaires and non-Legion personnel, and these were supported by 200 elements rotating every four months.

The current 13e DBLE is organized as a modern infantry unit of new generation. In mid-2017, the unit became the first French Army regiment to receive HK 416 F, the new French Army assault rifle. The regiment is specialized in landing operations, and in all stages of ground military operations too. Its companies are furnished with modernized VAB Ultima armored personnel carriers. In 2018, the regiment took part in first overseas military operations. In 2021, it was furnished with new VBMR Griffon vehicles.

The 13e DBLE is part of the 6th Light Armored Brigade (6e BLB). Other Legion regiments serve with this brigade too: 1er REC, 2e REI and 1er REG.

The 13th Foreign Legion Demi-Brigade operates the DEEN2 (Level 2 Training Area Detachment, formerly CEITO), a large French Army training center placed within Camp Larzac. It is reserved for long-range snipers and 81 mm mortars.

In 2023, the 13e DBLE is composed of:

  • HQ & Logistics Company (Compagnie de Commandement et de Logistique, CCL)
  • 1st Company (1re Compagnie, 1CIE)
  • 2nd Company (2e Compagnie, 2CIE)
  • 3rd Company (3e Compagnie, 3CIE)
  • 4th Company (4e Compagnie, 4CIE)
  • 5th Company (5e Compagnie , 5CIE)
  • 6th Company (6e Compagnie , 6CIE, non-Legion personnel)
  • Combat Support Company (Compagnie d’Appui, CA)
    • Direct Combat Support Platoon (Section d’Appui Direct, SAD)
    • Snipers Platoon (Section Tireurs d’Elite, STE)
    • Landing Support Platoon (Section Aide à l’Engagement Débarqué, SAED)
  • Reserve Company (Compagnie de Réserve, 8CIE)


NICKNAME: Phalange Magnifique (Excellent Phalanx)
MOTTO: “More Majorum” (In the manner of our ancestors)
REGIM. MARCH: Sous le soleil brûlant d’Afrique
FFL INFO POSTS: 13e DBLE’s category


Location of the 13th Foreign Legion Demi-Brigade


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