Portuguese Air Force C295 begins Mali operations


The Portuguese Air Force has sent a C295 cargo aircraft to the United Nations mission in Mali (Minusma) where it has taken over transport duties from Denmark.

The Portuguese Air Force said the aircraft began operations with Minusma on 15 July after a handover ceremony from the Danish Air Force. Denmark has contributed to Minusma since 2014 and has three times provided a C-130J transport aircraft for the mission (2014, 2017 and 2019/2020).

With a detachment of 63 military personnel, the Portuguese contingent’s mission is to provide tactical air transport capability to the United Nations and Minusma, as well as to protect the airfield in Bamako, Mali.

The C295 arrived at President Modibo Keita-Senou International Airport in Bamako on 12 July. It is from Squadron 502 Elefantes. It will be deployed to Mali until 31 December.

Denmark, Belgium, Norway and Portugal contribute a transport aircraft to Minusma on a rotational basis where the participating countries send a transport aircraft to Minusma for approximately six months each.