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mali. First formation of a FAMA platoon on Typhoon armored vehicles

(B2) The Europeans have just finished training a Malian army platoon in Gao in northern Mali to drive their new armored vehicles

Learning how to descend a Typhoon in a combat position (credit: EUtM Mali)

The Malian army has just acquired armored vehicles capable of resisting the main improvised explosive devices, the famous IEDs. They should be deployed in the center of the country, where the influence of terrorist groups is most widespread. It is still necessary to apprehend these new vehicles, heavier than the old ones, and to be able to react in the event of an incident. This is the whole point of the first training of the Malian platoon led by the EUTM mission, which has just taken place in Gao.

A Malian request

The request for this special training came from the Malian side. we specify at EUTM HQ. Specifically during the regular quarterly coordination meeting between the EUTM Head of Mission and the Chief of General Staff of the Malian Armed Forces. " The Malians have armored vehicles, but they urgently need to train drivers, gunners and infantry, in fact the whole crew “, explains General Ridzak, head of the EUTM mission (and who is finishing his rotation).

A complete training

« Soldiers have undergone comprehensive training, mastering improvised explosive device (EID) protection procedures, learning to provide first aid, properly handle heavy weapons ”, reports the training instructor, the Finnish captain TV. Soldiers must also learn to master driving on different terrains, the obstacle course, reacting to attack, and especially how to check and maintain the vehicle before the trip. This training will be developed and renewed as these new vehicles arrive in the FAMAs (see box).

The information system

In addition to the armored training, EUTM Mali experts also trained Malian soldiers at the regional command post in the use of a computer network to support the military command and control system.

The concept of decentralized training

This type of training, outside the Koulikoro centre, the usual training base for EUTM Mali, is set to develop. EUTM Mali's new mandate provides for more "decentralized" training. The opportunity also for EUTM and Barkhane to strengthen their ties. " By training troops in central Mali, cooperation between EUTM and Barkhane deepens says Colonel Delacotte, commander of the Gao base, who received the head of EUTM Mali, General Ridzak. " And we are very happy about it.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Typhoons being acquired

The Malian army has acquired 130 armored vehicles, enabling it to operate throughout Mali, under a contract with the United Arab Emirates. A limited part (about thirty) is the object of a donation, the other part is purchased. Designed and manufactured by the Emirati industrialist, Streit Group, the Typhoon is an armored vehicle, 4X4, of the MRAP type. That is to say resistant to mines and protected against ambushes (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected). It is used primarily as an infantry troop transport and ground support vehicle (8 people + gunner + commander + driver), but can also be configured as a command and control or medical evacuation vehicle. Equipped with an armored V-shaped monocoque hull, it offers its occupants, according to its maker, STANAG 3 level 4569 blast protection (the NATO standard for armor protection).

Read also: EUTM Mali restarts. Redeployment of staff and resumption of activities at the key

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).