The French Air Force has sent two Dassault Rafale fighter jets to the island of Reunion for training.
The aircraft landed at Gillot Air Force Base on 14 January after a 13 hour flight. They were accompanied by a C-135FR aerial refuelling tanker. They were due to be joined by an Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft in its first visit to Reunion.
The MRTT is replacing the C-135FRs in service with the French Air Force and the arrival and training around Reunion is part of this process. Training was due to last for a week and also include monitoring French territories in the Indian Ocean in support of FAZSOI, (Forces armÃ©es de la zone sud de l’ocÃ©an Indien), the French military presence in the region.
Rafales have previously been deployed to Reunion – the type landed on the island for the first time on 22 April 2014, again accompanied by a C-135FR tanker. They were refuelled five times in their journey from France.