Foreign Legion Detachment in Mayotte

DLEM insigniaDétachement de Légion Étrangère de Mayotte, DLEM. The smallest independent operational unit of the French Foreign Legion. It has been stationed in the Quartier Cabaribère in Dzaoudzi, Mayotte (an archipelago in the Indian Ocean) since 1976.

It was initially activated as the Foreign Legion Comoros Detachment (DLEC) in August 1973. When the Comoro Islands gained independence in 1975, the DLEC was regrouped in Mayotte (another part of the Comoros, and an island that decided to remain with France) in 1976. Thereafter, the DLEC became the DLEM.

Since 1984, the DLEM has been a custodian of the standard of the disbanded 2nd Foreign Cavalry Regiment (2e REC). In 2024, the unit will transform into a new 5th Foreign Regiment (5e RE).

Foreign Legion Detachment in Mayotte promotion


History of the Foreign Legion Detachment in Mayotte

Discover the history of the DLEM, from 1976 to 2023:
Foreign Legion Detachment in Mayotte’s History

Détachement de Légion Étrangère de Mayotte - DLEM - Foreign Legion Detachment in Mayotte - History


Current structure of the Foreign Legion Detachment in Mayotte

The DLEM detachment (in 2024) is divided into two companies: a permanent company and a rotational company. The unit consists of almost 300 men, including 110+ permanent elements of the Legion and about 155-180 rotational elements (provided by the Legion or French Army regular units), usually rotating every four months.

The Foreign Legion Mayotte Detachment is a fully operational unit that is ready to deploy in 48 hours. The unit’s main mission is to maintain France’s presence in the region and support French forces operating in the southern zone of the Indian Ocean and the east coast of Africa. The DLEM runs the Maritime Familiarization & Training Center (Centre d’Instruction et d’Aguerrissement du Nautique, CIAN) and provides military training to the armed forces of the adjoining regions, by offering an Operational Training Detachment (DIO) or a Technical Training Detachment (DIT). The unit’s other missions are to intervene in response to humanitarian crises and to protect the region from illegal immigration. Also, the DLEM’s commanding officer serves as the military commander of Mayotte.

Twice a year, DLEM units go to Réunion island or Madagascar to train in shooting with machine guns and sniper rifles and using grenades and explosives at firing ranges there.

The DLEM also regularly deploys (since 1997) a fully autonomous rotational detachment to a military outpost on the outlying Glorioso Islands (or The Glorieuses), for a mission usually lasting between four and six weeks.

The Foreign Legion Mayotte Detachment is assigned to the South Indian Ocean Zone Armed Forces (FAZSOI). It is also subordinate to the Abroad & Overseas Specialized HQ (EMSOME), together with the 3e REI.

In 2024, the DLEM is composed of:

  • HQ & Logistics Company (Compagnie de Commandement et de Logistique, CCL)
  • Infantry Combat Company – a unit comprising rotational elements


MOTTO: “Pericula Ludus” (Danger is my pleasure)
REGIM. MARCH: Soldats de la Légion étrangère
OFFIC. FB PAGE: Détachement de Légion Étrangère de Mayotte


Location of the Foreign Legion Detachment in Mayotte



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