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Evacuation of Kabul. First assessment of Apagan. A high-flying exercise

(B2) The A400M-A330 couple, the military base in the Emirates, cooperation with the allies. Three key elements in the evacuation of Kabul, a little hasty, for lack of forecasts...

An A330 plane evacuated to Paris evacuees from Kabul (Credit: DICOD / EMA)

The Minister for the Armed Forces came before the Defense Committee of the National Assembly on Tuesday (September 14) to take stock of Operation Apagan.

Three key elements for the success of the evacuation operation

Le pair A400M - A330MRTT at the maneuver

« Carried out under complex conditions, this operation was a success exclaims immediately the Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, commenting on the evacuation operation from Kabul. A success that rests on the performance of the A400M - A330MRTT couple and their equipment ". These two planes allowed to act faster and further, with navigation and transport capabilities allowing them to hold their place in a degraded security context and difficult flight conditions ».

Base 104: an essential point of support

Another condition of this success: the fulcrum in the united arab emirates " who has " confirmed its relevance ". This " strategic positioning » constitutes " a guarantee of our operational credibility ". Al Dhafra Air Base 104 (in the United Arab Emirates) made it possible to establish a double air bridge: “ The first between Kabul and Abu Dhabi thanks to the A400M and C130 which made 26 tactical bridges, the second between Abu Dhabi and Paris thanks to 16 strategic flights of A330MRTT ". (Read : First major evacuation operation for A400Ms of all nationalities)

Choosing the safe loop American

« Air coordination and cooperation with the US made it possible to carry out the evacuation “, underlines the minister. Access to the airport was ensured thanks to the support crucial »« allies » British, loaded " securing one of the accesses ". From the first days, the choice was made to place itself in the " safe loop of the United States, still present. The " european solidarity played, allowing the exfiltration of members of the EU delegation as well as the evacuation of European citizens.

A patent lack of foresight between the Allies

The speed of the conquest of Kabul badly anticipated !

As for being able to predict the fall of Kabul, the minister humbly acknowledges this: "We can't say we knew what was going to happen. » What was known, these are the deadlines set by the negotiations that took place between the US and the Taliban in Doha. We knew this date of August 31 as the date of the American disengagement. » The thing " that no one had anticipated was the speed with which the Taliban were going to regain control of the entire country”. On the contrary !

The Allies ran out of time

“When the Americans and all those who were present in Afghanistan learned of this timetable, they imagined that there would be time to conduct these evacuation operations. »

(Agnes Faure, st.)

A high-flying exercise: the Retex of the armies on Apagan 
1. The Raid Air Evac have been " high-flying exercises "but the challenge" was well noted ” underlines Colonel Pascal Ianni, the spokesperson for the Armed Forces Staff. The speed of set-up and coordination was “ a key element ". 2. “ The reactivity of the armies ". " We realized that our alert system works ". 3. The operation made it possible to test the robustness of the capacities, in particular of the A400M and C130", to check that there is "sufficient extension to look for people ". 4. Interoperability with Allies. " We train with them, we deploy with them. All this interoperability that we have created and nurtured over the years has shown its relevance in emergency situations ". 5. The “ operational added value of the prepositioned forces system” (the FFEAUs) women « an advantage in case of unforeseen and emergency ". Proven many times in Africa, it is an element " very particular and significant for France compared to other European countries ". 6. “ The intimate knowledge of the FFEAU region allowed this complex and unprecedented maneuver to be carried out in the best possible conditions. ". NB: the spokesperson for the armed forces was speaking at a press briefing on August 31 in which B2 took part.

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