RAF airlift assistance for French counter-insurgency ops in Africa
The Aircraft delivered several pallets of cargo to Niamey airport in Niger, helping to keep the 3,000 strong French forces supplied during their ongoing efforts against Islamist insurgents, the Royal Air Force said on 10 February.
Operation Barkhane is a long-running French anti-insurgent operation that started in August 2014 with the aim of assisting the African G5 nations against terrorist organisations including Al-Mourabitoun, AQIM (al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) and Ansar Dine.
In March 2016, during the UK-France Summit in Paris, UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon announced the provision of monthly strategic airlift support in the form of C-17 flights picking up freight from France and delivering it to the sub-Saharan region.
The French force in Africa consists of around 4,000 troops operating alongside 200 armoured vehicles, 20 helicopters, six fighter jets and three unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as well as logistical supply in-theatre being provided by two German C-160s. The main focus is in Mali, Chad, Niger and the Ivory Coast with some special forces in Burkina Faso with operations across the region being coordinated from N’Djamena and Niamey for supply and intelligence purposes.
READ MORERAF gets its first A400M
French, US, UK deploying military aircraft to CAR
RAF deploys Sentinel surveillance aircraft to Mali
Captain Guillaume Courot, Armee de l’air/French Air Force media representative in Niger said, “The fight against violent extremist organisations is an on-going effort that will require global collaboration if we are to succeed.”
“Op Barkhane is a prime example of two allied countries providing resources to maximum effect in the support of our allies in Africa through a mixture of medical, diplomatic, economic and military assistance.”
Flight Lieutenant Sven Meldrum, No. 99 Squadron pilot of Op Barkhane’s C-17, said, “The Op Barkhane tasking is tremendously important and highlights the importance of the RAF’s strategic heavy lift capabilities on a global scale. Working alongside the French on bi-lateral logistic capabilities reinforces the strong relationship we enjoy with them. It is extremely rewarding for us as operators and we continue to support our allies in this critical mission against sub-Saharan insurgency".
Top stories this week
- Navy dead not included in 2017 National Orders
- Sandu members back at work seven years after Union Buildings protest
- SA Legion provides headstone for sailor’s Durban grave
- Nigerian Ports Authority seeks nine patrol boats to enhance port and harbour security
- Nigerian Air Force inducts new Mi-35 attack helicopters
SA landmine detection pioneer in big US defence contract
by DCD Protected Mobility, 21 April 2017
Boksburg-based DCD Protected Mobility will provide more than 20 of its Husky 2G landmine detection vehicles to the US Department of Defence.
Reutech's RSR 904 radar system used in anti-poaching initiatives in Kruger Park
by Reutech, 21 April 2017
The innovative Kruger Park surveillance technology, the Meerkat, stops poachers in their tracks.
Saab signs support contract extension with British Army
by Saab, 13 April 2017
The deal with the UK's Ministry of Defence includes the provision of support and services to the Direct Fire Weapon Effects Simulator capability.