The C-17 flight was to deliver supplies to the RAF Chinook Detachment currently deployed supporting French operations there, say the MoD.

According to a statement, the arrival of the C-17 marks the first time that the Royal Air Force has been able to directly support the Gao based Chinooks since they deployed in June this year.

Previously, supplies would have been flown to the neighbouring country Niger and then shipped. The C-17 flight signals an intent to now supply the detachment with monthly direct flights.

Flying Officer Matt Nowicki, The Detachments Logistics Officer said:

“Flying directly into Gao significantly shortens the logistics chain, which until now has relied on onward movements of freight from Niamey Air base in Niger. Being able to fly to Gao has made an immense difference to supporting operations.”

In a statement, the RAF say that as well as carrying essential mission equipment and urgent aircraft spares, the C-17 also transported the first relief in place of RAF personnel to and out of Mali, bringing to an end the first rotation of Airmen supporting the French Operation Barkhane.

“The RAF Chinook detachment are deployed over 3000 miles away in Mali and relies on both RAF and French transport support to get supplies moved from the Chinook’s base at RAF Odiham out to sub-Saharan Africa.”


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1) The RAF C17s have been carrying out the French trooper flights to Mali since 2013

So the above headline is somewhat incorrect.

2) Should we really be informing the world (and the followers of a so called tolerant and peaceful religion) that we are going to be running a monthly shuttle.


I am not sure any religion can truly call itself peaceful and tolerant…

Levi Goldsteinberg

You’re a right silly bastard if you’re going to try and sit their with a straight face pretending Islam instead THE stand out evil religion in the world today, head and shoulders over the others.


I did not say they were not the most prolific currently. I am simply pointing out that all religions are prone to terrorism. Islam is pretty much simply copying its sister religion (Christianity) in terrorising the world. Lets not forget how many people have been murdered by Christian fundamentalists throughout history.

In the US more people are killed each year by Christian fundamentalists than by Islamic fundamentalists…


Prove that.

David E Flandry

Yeah like those Mormon terrorists in Africa with their constant kidnapping of women, and then the Amish commando squads operating in South America….


Like every war, its not religion its power, with religion being used as an excuse to make poor people do things they wouldn’t normally do out of desperation.

We need to get to a point in the west where we look past the religion headline and look at what is really causing people to be unhappy and push back.

Barry Larking

Flower arranging in the Church of England – the utter swines!


You missed out the international Quaker death squads………..come on everyone knows you never mess with Clarks shoes.


While not generally regarded as violent, there have been quite a few violent incidents my Mormons of the the years.. They massacred an entire tribe in Utah, They was also the “Mountain Meadows Massacre” , “Battle Creek massacre” and the “Circleville Massacre”. There was also the 1838 Mormon War…

Remember Mormons share the same old testament as Islam. And we all know how utterly violent that book is.


Exactly my thoughts, wouldn’t be hard to take one out

Barry Larking

2) Should we really be informing the world (and the followers of a so called tolerant and peaceful religion) that we are going to be running a monthly shuttle.

No different to warning the Argentine Air Force it’s bombs did not work properly.

Daniele Mandelli

Was that the BBC or some idiot MP? Don’t recall. Both imbecilic.


The area from the Med to Mali is 100% Islamic. The only reason the French have got embroiled is because fervent religious bigots from the surrounding area have decided that would rather use the bullet,the bomb and a lot of terrorism in which rule over everybody else. Libya is next door but one to Mali and since the fall of Gadaffi a lot of advanced weaponry has found its way into the hands of..terrorists including I should add Manpads

Mr Bell

The C17 although massive should be relatively safe from Manpads if the initial area around the airfield is protected and safe. I think the flight profile on onwards and outbound flights from Mali would be a step five onto the airfield and a rapid climate to altitude from the airfield in Mali?
Need an RAF transport aircraft expert to outline risk but I would think the C17 probably has a decent defensive aids suite.

Daniele Mandelli

Should not be put to the test in the first place though. Agree with farouk, really not wise how w e broadcast some stuff.

Anthony D

In the context of boxer, how large a force over what timeframe and distance, could our c17 fleet lift in a best effort?

Daniele Mandelli

No idea. Small I’d think. I really cannot see that ever happening. Strike Brigades would be moved by Sea elsewhere and Train then road into Europe in my opinion for all but the smallest operations. Too few C17 with other taskings already. And HMG is now averse to oversees interventions, which David Cameron sold them with in his 2015 SDR announcements by talking of “hunting terrorists” and “self deploying thousands of miles.” At the end of the day, the Strike Brigades are all about masking / spinning cuts to our 3 Armoured Brigades by removing more Tanks and Warrior, several… Read more »


Great photos and news on the C17s doing what they doing best. Just a real shame we did not invest in buying more of them.
I imagine only a small chunk of one year’s DFID budget could have secured at least another dozen airframes before Boeing stopped making them.
But good work and good phots..


We never intended to buy them. Originally they were a leased addition to cover the delays caused by the a400s and then the air force saw how usefu they were and brought out the lease, by which time it was too late to budget for any more airframes. Our heavy lift is in a good place right now and as stated realistically any effective force would need to be deployed by land, unless it was an emergency reinforcement like a Falklands sytyle situation but that seems insanely remote with the current footprint of overseas territories.

Daniele Mandelli

Almost correct Steve.

The original lease was for 4. We have 8 and incrementaly increased the fleet.

A 9th was rumoured for some time sadly.

Daniele Mandelli

That’s to say we bought them when we had the 4.

David Steeper

Just a point about which religion is the most violent. Consider the following greatest mass murderers in human history. Mao, Stalin and Hitler. They all shared the same religious conviction.

Lee H

Morning Lots of comments about a standard milk run. RAF do this day in, day out to countries all around the world utilising the long haul transport fleet therefore giving best value for money to the tax payer. You will be very surprised on some of the counties the RAF visit on these runs, supporting allies who do not have the logistical reach to do so. Whilst few in number we make the best of what we have, sharing where we can – this isn’t forgotten by our allies who appreciate the support we can give with little or no… Read more »