13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion

13e DBLE insignia13e Demi-Brigade de Légion Étrangère, 13e DBLE. The only demi-brigade (half-brigade) of the Foreign Legion and the only demi-brigade within the current French Army. Since June 2016, the 13e DBLE has been stationed at Camp Larzac, located near La Cavalerie in the Aveyron department, southern France.

From August 2011 to June 2016, the 13e DBLE was placed at a desert training camp located at the Zayed Military City, close to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). From 1962 to June 2011, the 13e DBLE was stationed at Quartier général Monclar in Djibouti, Africa, as the last Foreign Legion unit permanently based on this continent.

The unit was formed with legionnaires from Sidi Bel Abbes (Algeria) and Fez (Morocco) in February 1940. Being composed of only two battalions, it was designated as the demi-brigade. Because of the existence of another two provisional units formed in previous months, the 11e REI and 12e REI, the new unit got the number 13. The half-brigade was organized as a mountain warfare unit determined to fight in Finland (later, it was changed to Norway).

The 13e DBLE served during WWII in several campaigns (in Norway, in Senegal, Erirea, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Italy or France). After WWII, it participated in the First Indochina War (1946-54) and the Algerian War (1955-62). From 1963 to 2016, the 13e DBLE was also involved in operations in Djibouti, Somalia, Rwanda, Yemen, Ivory Coast, Indonesia, the Central African Republic, Jordan or Iraq.


History of the 13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion

See the history of 13e DBLE during the 1940 – 2015 period. Well-ordered data, including dozens of pictures from all decades. From the Norwegian Campaign until its service in the United Arab Emirates: History of the 13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion

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


Current structure of the 13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion

The regiment is devided (in 2018) into 7 companies composed of around 1,300 men. A reserve company being composed of non-Legion reservists is also assigned to the 13e DBLE. By the way, in the UAE in 2011-16, the unit comprised only 70 permanent officers, NCOs and legionnaires + 200 elements rotating every four months.

The current 13e DBLE is organized as a modern infantry unit of a new generation of the French Army. In mid-2017, the unit has become the first French Army regiment to receive Heckler & Koch rifle, 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.

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

The 13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion operates the CEITO (Operational Shooting Training Center), a large French Army training center placed within Camp Larzac. From 2018, the unit should take part in overseas military operations.


In 2018, 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 , 5e CIE)
  • 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)


13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion promotion


13e DBLE’s official website:
13e Demi-Brigade de Légion Étrangère


13e DBLE’s current news

See the news and updates from the 13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion (13e DBLE) posted on our website:
13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion’s latest news


13e DBLE’s regimental song

The regimental song of the 13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion (13e DBLE):
Sous le soleil brûlant d’Afrique


Location of the 13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion


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