Helis, July 18, 2020 - The French Defense Ministry shared an interview with the British, Danish and Estonian detachment' leaders about their experience at the heart of Operation Barkhane.
British Chinooks in Mali
Under Operation Newcombe three Royal Air Force (RAF) Chinook HC5 helicopters from RAF Odiham with approx 90 airmen arrived to Mali in July 2018 for logistics support of French counter-terrorism operations in West Africa.
On October 2018, RAF C-17 transport aircraft arrived at Gao airfield in Mali for the first time to deliver supplies to the RAF Chinook Detachment.
In June 2020, the mission was extended and so far RAF helicopters have clocked over 2,000 hours of flying and moved over 13,000 passengers and 1,100 tonnes of cargo
Danish helicopters in Africa
Since December 2019, a Danish contribution of two EH101 helicopters and approx 70 personnel has been deployed to the French-led Operation Barkhane to support the international effort to counter terrorism in the Sahel region.
The Danish helicopter contribution is based in Gao in the eastern part of Mali from where it carries out transportation tasks, including transport of troops and equipment.
It is the first time that Denmark contributes to Operation Barkhane and the deployment is planned to end in December 2020.
Since 2018, Estonia commits 95 military personnel in Mali to the French-led anti-insurgency Operation Barkhane.
"Mali is certainly dangerous, but it should not be overlooked that this is one of the reasons we are in the region, and the end goal of the operation is to stabilize the situation in the region to a degree which allows the national authorities of countries in that region to independently ensure security," said defence minister Jüri Luik
Since 2013, The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) is also based in Gao. Canada, El Salvador, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium among others have supplied helicopters to this mission.
A french army Tiger attack helicopter and a Royal Air Force (RAF) Chinook in Gao, Mali during operation Barkhane