3 Chinook helicopters have arrived in West Africa to support the French counter-terrorism operation in Mali. 

They’ll operate alongside 90 British troops already in the region, and will provide logistical and troop movement support.

“The UK and France have a unique security and defence relationship that has lasted for more than a century and this deployment demonstrates our shared commitment to tackling terrorism, instability and reducing threats to European security”

Mark Lancaster, Armed Forces Minister

The UK has consistently supported UN and EU military operations in Mali in recent years. The intention is to prevent extremists of any nature from operating in the anarchic Sahel region, and in particular to prevent them planning attacks on Europe.

The area is also a haven for the illegal trade in people, drugs, weapons and wildlife, and the operation aims to counter this.

The move was first agreed back in January when Prime Minister Theresa May met with French President Emmanuel Macron. Whitehall sources said the UK had offered the Chinook to make up for shortfalls in French helicopter numbers.

Indeed, several RAF C-17 helped transport French armoured vehicles to Mali in 2013 when the French first began their military campaign against Islamist rebels.


      • Never heard of ‘perfidious Albion’ ? Mind you, that was probably coined when England was ruled by the French !

          • Both England and France were ruled by the same group of nobles during the early Middle Ages. It’s not really true ti say either England or France ruled the other, we both just happened to be ruled by the same set of dynastic families who loved to use the prols to fight wars of position and power. Oh and they spoke French as a first language.

            They also did the same to Ireland and kicked of that whole sorry affair.

            It’s the base of why English, Irish and French realationships were so very interesting from the mid to late Middle Ages onward.

    • In what way are they ‘shafting us’ ? The article mentions that they are being supported in their ops to prevent the country becoming a haven for terrorists planning to attack Europe. Perhaps we should be thanking them for doing the the dirty work there.

    • Read towards the bottom of that article and it states the 3 British helicopters were being sent to support the French mission and had nothing to do with Minusma. In states that Britain is asking member states to support Canada, but doesn’t appear to be doing so itself.

      • Steve,
        Whilst correct, the support from the UK wasn’t meant to arrive in theatre until the autumn of this year. The deployment of the CH47s has been brought forward by a number of months to cover the gap between the Germans departing and the Canadians arriving .

        As for supporting the French, the Uk is and has been providing the trooper flights for the French military to Mali. The Helicopter support was meant to go out with the deployment of around 100 troops (non-Ccombat) they will still deploy later this year.

  1. Scandalous lack of any UK maritime patrol aircraft.
    Complete nonsense.
    SDSR 2010 and 2015 were disasters.
    Still due to a lack of funds it is not until 2030 when all the planned 9 UK maritime patrol aircraft are in service.
    Still just so long as we keep sending £14 billion a year abroad on foreign aid, with little to no oversight or benefit to the UK. Then everything will be fine.


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