DLEM: Activities in August 2021

The Foreign Legion Detachment in Mayotte (DLEM) is a lesser-known Foreign Legion unit that is stationed in Mayotte, an island in the Indian Ocean, and an overseas department and region of France. See the unit’s activities in August 2021.

The Mayotte Detachment is a small unit consisting of both permanent and rotating personnel, the latter coming from Legion or non-Legion regiments stationed in mainland France and Corsica. In recent years, the permanent personnel – apart from officers, NCOs, and non-Legion personnel – is usually legionnaires with the rank of Senior Corporal and mostly with 10+ years of service. The unit is closed for fresh legionnaires having finished their basic training, unlike the 3e REI in Franch Guiana.

Currently, the unit operates the Aquatic Familiarization & Training Center (CIAN), an amphibious training center, as well as it keeps the French presence in the region. Learn about some activities conducted by the DLEM in August 2021.

In mid-August, the new commanding officer of the DLEM, Lieutenant Colonel Axel Girard, one of those six new commanding officers of the Legion in 2021, visited for the very first time the small military post on outlying Glorioso Islands, occupied by a group of DLEM personnel. The small rotational detachments are deployed to this paradise on a regular basis, carrying out a “sovereignty mission” and living there in a complete autonomy for several weeks. The colonel remained two days there.

DLEM Mayotte Detachment in August 2021: Glorioso Islands - Lieutenant Colonel Axel Girard
Lieutenant Colonel Axel Girard (right), the new commanding officer of the DLEM since mid-July 2021, is visiting for the very first time Glorioso Islands where a small group of DLEM personnel lives in a complete autonomy. Note the red berets of the 8e RPIMa, currently a part of the DLEM.


A week later, NCOs and legionnaires freshly assigned to the HQ Company, DLEM, the permanent element of the Mayotte Detachment, participated in a familiarization training by visiting and passing the CIAN center and the shooting range of the Badamiers, located at Tsigoni, in the west of the Mayotte Island.


In late August, the Mayotte was visited by Gérald Darmanin, France’s Minister of the Interior, and Sebastien Lecornu, Minister of the Overseas. They were received by the DLEM commanding officer, who serves at once as the military commander-in-chief of Mayotte, and all together reviewed an honor guard of the Mayotte Detachment before paying homage to the fallen soldiers in front of the War Memorial, which is located near the Quartier Cabaribere, the DLEM’s HQ.

DLEM Mayotte Detachment in August 2021: Ministers Darmanin and Lecornu - Lieutenant Colonel Axel Girard
French Minister of the Overseas Lecornu (extreme left) and Minister of the Interior Darmanin, accompanied by Lt. Col. Girard, review the honor guard of the DLEM, August 29, 2021. Note the colonel’s white overseas full dress uniform.

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