British Chinooks deployed to Mali in support of the French military efforts have begun operations and are now contributing a heavy lift helicopter capability for the counter insurgency mission there, say the Royal Air Force.

The three Chinooks are being used to transport French troops and supplies around the country, providing vital logistical support in the ongoing campaign against the insurgents. The RAF helicopters have already conducted 30 sorties, flying for up to 6 hours on each trip and so far have moved over 700 French troops and more than 70 tons of equipment.

The commander for the deployed British Military personnel in Mali is Wing Commander Matt Roberts, he said:

“Our French partners have done absolutely everything to ensure we are integrated into this operation with all the support required to reach full operating capacity.”

According to a release, Wing Commander Roberts also explained that during one week during just three missions the Chinooks lifted just short of 25 tons in support of French ground troops.

On another occasion a Chinook was able to lift two badly damaged vehicles to a forward operating base, saving the French troops hours of towing them, and possibly compromising their mission.

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Daniele Mandelli

In part of me this irritates.

Supporting allies great.

Supporting that ally while it’s President calls patriotic Brits liars and generally obstructs our democratic process not so.


I actually agree with you. I have no clue why our utterly incompetent diplomats have not used the UK military clout as part of Brexit negotiations.

Thank you for your recent comments Mr Macron, get your cheque book out and purchase some heavy lift equipment yourself as our equipment is now on its way home.


I am not sure it is incompetent. It was offered as a very large and important hand of friendship and gesture of goodwill. It is not signed off so it can be withdrawn at any point. I feel the way the EU is digging in its heels and offering virtually no compromise means that the withdrawal of that offer will be high on the list of possible actions in order to force the hand of the EU. The security co-operation benefits us but it benefits the EU by a much larger degree. As far as I am aware the British… Read more »


And let me Putin rub his hands gleefully. The military cooperation may be the bargaining stick which allows for a Brexit compromise at the 11th hour. Perhaps 11.59

Peter Shaw

Precisely why are we helping the French president that insulted 52% of the voting population in the UK?


There’s an interesting article in the Times today which discusses far greater collaboration with the French post Brexit and regardless of if there is a deal or not. Both militaries want it.


Remember… French were / are providing MPA cover when required pending P8

Daniele Mandelli

As a NATO operation I presume with Norway and the USA.

Is the Mali operation NATO or bilateral co operation?

Neil Marshall

Well said Pete. We can quietly ignore the morons with their flat-earth Brexiteer rubbish…


I get a little disappointed in the many anti French comments in the British press and I know the popular media on both sides act similarly but the truth of the matter is that the British and French military have regularly supported each other over many decades. The most recent of which I am aware is the French, with others have helped to fill the Nimrod P8 gap in our maritime patrol capability. Following the disgraceful Political decision that we should not have made in the first place.


(Chris H) Mrs May should have boarded her Voyager in Salzburg and immediately got on the radio to the MoD and instructed them to return all British forces and aircraft working with the French to the UK without delay. That would have been a very real statement of intent. I was very impressed with her Press Statement and it struck exactly the right tone. Courteous indignation and a threat wrapped in velvet. We now see the EU for what it is: Arrogant and unbending. We see Macron as the architect in chief of the EU belligerence. His predecessor threatened the… Read more »


I think a lot of people who voted remain now also see the EU for the money grabbing farce that it is. I was very split stay or go however seeing how the EU has dealt with this situation personally I cannot wait to get away from the idiots and let them sink. Germany is only concerned about a weak pound as we can compete on exports and simply does not want to spend any money on defence, yet again why don’t we use the defence card to force Germany to make some sensible decisions!

Lee H

Evening all It’s at times like this we can hold our heads high. Whilst politicians desperately scramble to make themselves look statesman like in a desperate attempt to shore up political support at home HMG goes quietly about its business supporting allies overseas. What we are seeing is the petulant spoilt political classes of certain European countries throwing their teddies out of the cot, let them crack on with it – makes no difference to us. Politicians are short term players, some a lot shorter than others and we are in this for the long game. When a group of… Read more »

Mike N

Crikey – if we threw our toys out of the pram at the utterance of every word that was mildly offensive from a foreign politician we’d be at WW20 by now. Chill and be proud of our forces supporting their military allies.


I just don’t get this nonsense about Macron said something mean about Boris and we must pull out of NATO overnight because well Brexit. What he actually said was that it was sad Britain was leaving but it was democratic decision and they were welcome to leave or change their minds. He did say some of the leaders of the Brexit campaign lied that’s not under dispute as The different leave campaigns led by Farage and Boris accused each other of lieing. In Mali there are overlapping operations led by the UN and EU and a more combative French National… Read more »

barry white

After what Macreon has just suggested should we just pull out and leave them too it?