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  • zimbabwe Operation Agila

    Rhodesia - Zambia border areas

    19-dec-79    to    16-mar-80

    Agila was the British contribution to an International (largely Commonwealth) cease-fire monitoring mission, principally along the Rhodesian-Zambian border. It provided reception centres for disarming fighters in the run up to the second round of post-UDI elections in Rhodesia (the first round remaining un-recognised by the international community).

    Troops from UK, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya and Fiji assembled and were distributed around the country to one of 16 declared assembly areas, supported by RAF and Army helicopters. A cease-fire had been arranged, for the opposing forces to enter the areas and register themselves and their weapons, although this was not a disarmament and the atmosphere was very tense throughout. Towards the end of the deployment, around the elections proper, a contingent of UK Police were sent as election observers. Early in March, preparations began for the withdrawal and most Agila personnel converged on New Sarum airfield for flights home.

    As well as British, Australian and New Zealand aviation assets, the US and Canada also provided fixed wing support. This deployment was known as Operation Midford to the Kiwis.


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    DatesRotary Wing Aircraft UnitModels
        18dec79 to mar80 UK 33 Squadron Royal Air Force SA330 Puma
        19dec79 to 19mar80 UK 656 Squadron Army Air Corps SA341B Gazelle AH.1

    Not all models shown may have taken part in the Operation

    Individual helicopters

    Model IDs
    Aerospatiale SA341B Gazelle AH.1 XW913    
    Aerospatiale SA330E Puma XW228    


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