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.


  1. 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 It is not signed off so it can be withdrawn at any point.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 intelligence services are responsible for quite a large proportion of foiled terrorist attacks on EU soil. Plus with Putin and China flexing their muscles I think quite a number of EU countries would get quite nervous about not having the full backing of the UK armed forces.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. (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 UK while Cameron grinned alongside. Macron insults not just the 52% who voted leave but the whole of the UK and the EU leaders’ disrespect to May in Salzburg disrespected the UK as well.

    Screw them all I say – stand back, no further talks and let the clock tick while we prepare for WTO trade. Then lets see who blinks first. TM has tried to compromise and has not pleased both sides in Parliament which means it was probably not far wrong. But we have seen how that compromise has been received. ENOUGH!

    • 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!

  6. 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 nations try and bully, mock and make fun of the PM all that does is make everyone, regardless of political party or leave/remain in this country go “hang on a minute, if that’s the game you want to play and that’s who you are we’d rather be out of your club – but remember this, next time you need a supportive neighbour go knock somewhere else”

    3 helicopters overseas on active duty being funded by the French……could be worse

    Have a good evening 🇬🇧

  7. 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.

  8. 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 operation and we are providing support to all 3, partly it’s keeping a good relationship with the only other European global power which has had our back on several occasions such as when we abolished airborne ASW, and partly it is a message to the African partners about global Britain playing a role.


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