13e DBLE: Three companies to deploy overseas in 2020

In 2020, at least three compagnies of the 13th Foreign Legion Half Brigade (13e DBLE) are to be deployed overseas this year, according to their commanding officer, Colonel Jacques Bouffard. Two of them will serve in Africa.

Colonel Bouffard, the head of the currently only half-brigade of the French Army, stated that his legionnaires from the 1st Company has already been placed in French Guiana, home to another famous unit of the Legion, 3e REI, to reinforce French troops there.

Meanwhile, his legionnaires from the 3rd Company, 13e DBLE has arrived in the Central African Republic (CAR) to participate for the next four months in the European Union Training Mission in CAR (EUTM RCA) to train local armed forces.

Legionnaires from the 2nd Company, 13e DBLE are to be deployed to Djibouti, a country in the Horn of Africa, to reinforce a French contingent there for four months. By the way, the 13e DBLE had served there since 1962, until its transfer to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2011.

This has been the second large overseas deployment for the 13th Half-Brigade since its placement in France in 2016 and reinforcing its strength from some only 70 men to a regiment-sized unit with about 1,300 legionnaires. In 2018, the unit sent also three companies overseas, to Mali in West Africa.

This year, about 750 legionnaires of the 2e REI will deploy overseas too.

Currently, at least 220 Foreign Legion paratroopers from the 2e REP have been deployed to Ivory Coast, a country located on the south coast of West Africa, to reinforce French Forces in Ivory Coast (FFCI), a contingent formed after the end of France’s Operation Licorne (2002-2015).

Legionnaires of the 3rd Company, 13e DBLE (yellow t-shirts) in the Central African Republic, February 2020. Photo credit: EUTM RCA
A local armed forces NCO with a legionnaire of the 3rd Company, 13e DBLE in the Central African Republic, February 2020. Photo credit: EUTM RCA


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