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Takuba. The Italians operational at the end of the summer. With reconnaissance and Medevac capability

(B2) Italian participation is confirmed. She will bring valuable capabilities to the Takuba Task Force. For 2022, the Italians could move on to coaching the Malian forces

It is an Air detachment quite similar to the one deployed in Herat in Afghanistan with its A129 Mangusta (MOD Italy / B2 Archives)

A deployment started in March, closed by the end of the summer

The redeployment of the Italian contingent began in March in the three-border area of ​​Liptako Gourma. The Italians will be based more precisely in the bases of Gao and Menaka. And according to the Italian Minister Lorenzo Guerini, it is expected " to achieve initial operational capability after the summer ».

A reconnaissance and MEDEVAC capability

The Italian contribution will take the form above all of a reconnaissance and medical evacuation capability (MEDEVAC). An essential ability for Takuba, which will allow him to be independent of Barkhane's means. The Italians are thus providing eight helicopters (four transport and four A129 Mangusta attack). Cost of the mission: €49 million (€1,2 million per month for staff and €1,4 million for operations + €23 million for investment and deployment costs).

A mentoring task-group in 2022

But Rome plans, from 2022, “ to extend the activity also to the training of members of the local special forces ". The Italian contingent could therefore be larger than expected. The maximum commitment limit has been increased. It goes from 200 to 250 men for the period 2021-2022. On average, this means a presence of 150 soldiers present in the theater. While the number of vehicles doubles – from 20 to 44 vehicles.

Support with joint missions

Associated supports will be possible to and from other missions in the area “, specifies the government note, in particular the bilateral mission (MISIN) of training of the special forces of Niger. Likewise, the national means, supplemented if necessary by special forces unitss", could" possibly be used to support the activities of these missions ».

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

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).