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Strong tribute from France to its allies for their transport support

(B2) The French Ministry of the Armed Forces paid tribute to the allied air forces (European and North American) who provide valuable support to Operation Barkhane, as they already provided in the operation Serval

An American C17 takes French soldiers to Mali (credit US Air Force – Senior Airman James Richardson – January 2013 – Archives B2)

An essential support

« From 2013, French forces have been able to count on their European and international partners. "And even today, the allies" provide essential support to the Barkhane force in the logistics field » indicates information from the general staff of the armed forces published on its website. And to add: “ In the Sahel, France is not acting alone ».

Half of the sub-theater transport

Since the start of 2019, 50% of intra-theatre transport of personnel and freight has been carried out by Allied and European countries: Spain contributes 15% (Mamba missions and Ivory conducted respectively from Gabon and Senegal) (1). The United Kingdom with its British Chinook helicopters also participates for nearly 15%. The United States (nearly 10%) and Germany (more than 6%) contribute the rest, along with Canada and Belgium.

A third of strategic transport

In terms of strategic transport, this support is vital. Since the start of 2019, the United States and Canada have transported 315 tonnes and 43 tonnes of freight respectively, as part of strategic deliveries between France and the Sahel. A figure to be compared to some 676 tonnes of equipment transported over the same period by the French Air Force.

Comments : If allied support for Operation Serval as in Barkhane is not new, such a strong demonstration is relatively new in the communication of the French armies, more ready to self-celebrate its 'strategic autonomy'. It is indeed a reality: without the strategic and tactical allied support of Spanish C-130s, German A400Ms or British or American C-17s, it is difficult to carry out an operation requiring men, equipment, ammunition and supplies. . We wrote it from the start of Serval (read: Serval lacks tanker planes. Assessment of allied resources committed). The general staff of the armed forces seems to need to brush up its supporters in the right direction.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

(1) Over five years, according to a report drawn up in 2018, the Spaniards of the Marfil mission based in Senegal transported 3700 tonnes of freight and more than 22.000 passengers, according to the general staff of the Spanish forces.

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).