belgium 18 Squadron

Force Aérienne Belge

18 Sq MRH : Arès Leonidas
Belgian Air Force

Part of 1 Wing

2004 to present    


Belgian NH90 in Mali

Belgian helicopters in Mali with MINUSMA

Since March 1st, 2018 two NH90 TTH helicopters from the Belgian Air Component have been deployed in the region of Gao in Mali to take part of MINUSMA United Nations peacekeeping mission.

Until the end of June 2018, two successive detachments will be responsible for medical evacuation and transport of troops and materials.

Preparations for what turned out to be the first overseas operational deployment started the year before with the training exercise Tropical Storm in Gabon and followed with the Duster III exercise in Germany. The Germans provided their valuable experience in this scenario as the Belgian NH90s replaced the ones of the German Army in Gao.

The two NH90 helicopters were transported to Mali by chartered Antonov An-124 cargo plane.

Two days after arrival to GAO, NH90 started operations in support of the German ground contingent.

The helicopters are operating in the harsh environment of the Mali desert demanding maximum efforts to crews and machines
Mali desert sand storm form by helicopter

Special Forces Group members of the Belgian Army provide security to the medevac missions
Belgian Special Forces Group

On July 6, after 4 months in country, the 2 NH90 returned to Belgium via AN-124

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