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Belgian Medevac en route to Mali

An A109 helicopter (credit: air component of the Belgian army)

(BRUSSELS2) This Sunday took off from Melsbroek airport (the military airport of Brussels Zaventem), an Airbus A-330 with on board the personnel of the Helicopter detachment (about forty people) and the equipment necessary for their mission. Destination: Lome in Togo. An Iliouchine 76, chartered by the Belgian army, should follow on Monday, bound for Bamako in Mali, carrying two A109 medical helicopters. They will be operational from January 28 serving as medical evacuation to a hospital center. They could be based at Gao airport which has just been reconquered by French and Malian forces.

« Belgian detachments engaged in Operation SERVAL serve under French command “, we say on the Belgian side. This is the second part of the Belgian commitment to the French reconquest operation in Mali. C-130 transport planes were quickly engaged. One “was already in the area”; having carried out a transport flight to Chad under the European transport command EATC. The other left on the afternoon of January 15 from Melsbroek bound for Solenzara (in Corsica) before joining the Ivory Coast. Based in Abidjan in Côte d'Ivoire, since January 17, they " performed 11 flights on behalf of Operation SERVAL we say to the press service of the Belgian army.

The Belgian government had decided, on January 15, to support the French operation SERVAL by providing logistical support in terms of air transport capacity and medical evacuation capacity. Decision approved by a resolution of the Chamber of Deputies on January 17.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).