U.S. Airlift of French forces to Mali

U.S. Airlift French forces to Mali U.S. Airlift French forces to Mali U.S. Airlift French forces to Mali

The United States Air Force began transporting French soldiers and military equipment January 21, 2013, from Istres, France, to Bamako, Mali, in support of French military operations in Mali.  C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, operating under the control of U.S. Africa Command, are moving a French mechanized infantry battalion over the next several days.

U.S. planes deliver French troops to Mali
by Staff Sgt. Nathanael Callon
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

ISTRES, France – The United States Air Force began transporting French soldiers and military equipment Jan. 21 from Istres, France to Bamako, Mali, in support of French military operations in Mali.

C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, operating under the control of U.S. Africa Command, are moving a French mechanized infantry battalion.  The ongoing operation is expected to last for at least two weeks.

The first C-17 Globemaster III from Dover Air Force Base, Del., took off from Istres and landed in Bamako Monday afternoon and delivered more than 80,000 pounds of equipment and dozens of French soldiers.

France deployed its armed forces to the African country on Jan. 11 and requested assistance from other nations to transport armored regiments and troops.  In response, the U.S. deployed Airmen from the 621st Contingency Response Wing from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., and multiple C-17 aircrews to Istres-Le Tubé Air Base in southern France.

Since beginning the air transportation missions from France to Bamako, the French and American militaries have worked closely together to prepare and load equipment on the C-17s.

Cargo and equipment are prepared by the French and load plans are given to the U.S. aircraft commander for review, said French air force Maj. Eric Chabaud, who is the chief of aircraft services in Istres.

"It's a good thing for us to work together on things like this, because we want to be an asset to the operation, not a hindrance," said Chabaud. "We have a very good relationship with the Americans here right now and we help them any time we can."

While the 621st can singlehandedly deploy, establish and airfield and manage air mobility operations, in this case the planners are here to coordinate air support for the French military movements and load the U.S. Air Force cargo aircraft.

U.S. Air Force Maj. David Gaulin, a contingency response element commander from the 621st, was one of the first on the ground to assess the airfield and determine requirements for operating out of Istres.

"We were able to show up here, set up communications with the [Chain of Command] and provided an initial assessment of what capabilities the French had and what capabilities we could bring to the operation within an hour of landing," said Gaulin.  “It's good that we're able to use the logistics ability we have – aircraft, our personnel and equipment – to help them.”

Click here to view News Conference Click here to view B-roll  

ISTRES, France -- U.S. Airmen from the 621st Contingency Response Wing, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., and the 3rd Airlift Squadron, Dover Air Force Base, Del., secure a French military vehicle inside a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III. The C-17 can carry up to 170,900 pounds of cargo, and can be configured for a variety of loadouts, including aeromedical evacuation, cargo transportation and passenger movement.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nathanael Callon)

 

ISTRES, France -- U.S. Airmen and French soldiers load equipment inside a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III in Istres, France. The C-17 can carry up to 170,900 pounds of cargo, and can be configured for a variety of loadouts, including aeromedical evacuation, cargo transportation and passenger movement.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nathanael Callon)

 

 

ISTRES, France  --  In this photo taken in Istres January 21, French troops board a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft en route to Mali, France. The crew, out of Dover Air Force Base, Del., transported more than 80,000 pounds of equipment and over 40 French soldiers in the Air Force's first flight in support of the French military operation. The C-17 can carry up to 170,900 pounds of cargo, and can be configured for a variety of loadouts, including aeromedical evacuation, cargo transportation and passenger movement.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nathanael Callon)

 

ISTRES, France -- In this photo taken in Istres January 21, French troops prepare for take-off inside a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft in Istres, France. The C-17 can carry up to 170,900 pounds of cargo, and can be configured for a variety of loadouts, including aeromedical evacuation, cargo transportation and passenger movement.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nathanael Callon)

 

 

 

ISTRES, France -- In this photo taken in Istres January 21, French soldiers march to a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III in Base Aerieene 125, Istres, France. The C-17 can carry up to 170,900 pounds of cargo, and can be configured for a variety of loadouts, including aeromedical evacuation, cargo transportation and passenger movement.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman James Richardson)

 

ISTRES, France -- French soldiers march to a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III in Base Aerieene 125, Istres, France. The C-17 can carry up to 170,900 pounds of cargo, and can be configured for a variety of loadouts, including aeromedical evacuation, cargo transportation and passenger movement. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman James Richardson)

 

 

BAMAKO, Mali -- French soldier Marjorie Moreaux looks out of a window of a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III en route to Mali. The C-17 can carry up to 170,900 pounds of cargo, and can be configured for a variety of loadouts, including aeromedical evacuation, cargo transportation and passenger movement. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman James Richardson)

  BAMAKO, Mali -- French soldiers depart a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III in Bamako, Mali. The C-17 can carry up to 170,900 pounds of cargo, and can be configured for a variety of loadouts, including aeromedical evacuation, cargo transportation and passenger movement.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman James Richardson)

 

        

A French Mirage fighter refuels from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker from the 100th Air Refueling Wing, RAF Mildenhall, England, over Africa Jan. 30, 2013. Tankers from RAF Mildenhall, operating from a forward-deployed location, began flying refueling missions in support of French operations in Mali Jan. 27, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jason Smith)

A French Mirage fighter refuels from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker from the 100th Air Refueling Wing, RAF Mildenhall, England, over Africa Jan. 30, 2013. Tankers from RAF Mildenhall, operating from a forward-deployed location, began flying refueling missions in support of French operations in Mali Jan. 27, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Jason Smith)

The United States Air Force began transporting French soldiers and military equipment January 21, 2013, from Istres, France, to Bamako, Mali, in support of French military operations in Mali. C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, operating under the control of U.S. Africa Command, are moving a French mechanized infantry battalion over the next several days. The United States Air Force began transporting French soldiers and military equipment January 21, 2013, from Istres, France, to Bamako, Mali, in support of French military operations in Mali. C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, operating under the control of U.S. Africa Command, are moving a French mechanized infantry battalion over the next several days.

Click here to learn about the C-17 GLOBEMASTER III

Click here to learn more about the KC-135 STRATOTANKER        

 

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