Zambia Air Force deploys force protection unit to Mozambique as it scales up SAMIM participation

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The Zambia Air Force (ZAF) has been supporting the Southern African Development Community Mission in Mozambique (SAMIM) with its C-27J Spartan transport aircraft and is now scaling up its contribution with the deployment of a force protection Regiment Unit.

Speaking during the sendoff parade ZAF Commander, Lieutenant General Colin Barry, said his Command was committed to supporting the Zambian Government’s peace efforts to stabilize the Cabo Delgado region of Northern Mozambique.

“Currently, the Zambia Air Force is the only Service from the Zambia Defence Force deployed under SAMIM. We will continue service the Mission with airlift capability through the employment of the C-27J. The Regiment Unit being deployed today will be responsible for base protection and security of storage facilities and air asserts,” Barry is quoted by the ZAF as saying.

Barry said SAMIM had registered numerous achievements including the recapture of villages, dislodging of terrorists from their bases, creation of safe passage for humanitarian aid and facilitation the return to a normal life for Internally Displaced People (IDPs).

ZAF Chief of Operations, Brigadier General Arthur Kalaluka said he was confident that the Unit was combat capable following vigorous pre-deployment training. He added that it was expected to maintain its combat capability throughout the tour of duty in the mission area.

The ZAF deployed a C-27J aircraft to SAMIM at the beginning of 2022, using the aircraft to transport cargo for the mission. In January 2022, a C-27J airlifted over 50 000 kilogrammes of cargo for the South African National Defence Force from Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria to Mozambique, among other SAMIM assigned tasks.

“Zambia has a proud history of engaging in peacekeeping efforts with the United Nations, dating back to 1988 when the country first deployed peacekeepers to Iraq. Currently, Zambia has a significant number of troops deployed in various peace operations with the majority in the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA),” Barry said earlier this month during a meeting with UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix.

Zambia has pledged to provide more assets for peacekeeping operations in Africa.