The Prime Minister has announced that Chinook helicopters and supporting personnel will extend their tour in Mali by six months.

The Ministry of Defence say that three Chinook helicopters and almost 100 service personnel have been deployed to the French-led operation in Mali since 2018.

“The UK’s helicopters bring a unique logistical capability to the operation, allowing French ground forces to operate more effectively across the Sahel including in Niger and Burkina Faso. French forces, with UK support, are leading the fight against violent extremism in a region where militants linked to Al-Qa’ida and Islamic State pose a constant threat.”

Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:

“Increasing instability across the Sahel is causing pain and suffering to local communities and posing a real threat to European security.

It is right that we extend our commitment to the counter-terror operation in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. By providing essential support to our French partners our Armed Forces are helping to build stability and deny terrorists a haven from which to plan attacks.”

The Government also say that as well as boosting stability and prosperity, ‘this supports international efforts to counter illegal migration through and from the Sahel’.

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Cam
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Cam

I hope we have special forces in the region helping the frogs at the very least. Maybe we should send some troops to help fight the militants, maybe a few company’s of Royal Marines or paras to show the French how it’s really done🙂

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Woa!

Leave boots on the ground out of it. Just the Chinooks I feel.

SF are a different question.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Daniele whilst I completely understand your point Cam also has a point in that the West needs to develop a strategy to deal with this type of threat. Eliminating the possibility of boots on the ground may well be playing into the hands of these people. I think we need to keep our options open. It might or might not be the right strategy here. Acting decisively in Syria for example early on might have saved countless lives in the long run and strangled this type of terrorist threat at birth.

DaveyB
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DaveyB

You could say the same for the UN dithering with the Yugoslavian break up and the subsequent genocide in Bosnia. If the UN had gone in with a tough love attitude and we had better rules of engagement, perhaps it wouldn’t have happened?
Unfortunately, you will always need boots on the ground to subdue fighting. The problem being is you need enough to make sure you can dominate an area.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

I would not disagree. And as I said to Cam SF is a different proposition. In other words I would not be surprised if they were there and I’d support that.

My opposition is to regular forces getting dragged into another Afghanistan.

Are other countries from Europe sending ground forces to help France?

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

Yeah, sort of. We replaced the Dutch with their Chinooks. It was hoped that we would rotate with them. The Germans are still out there, as they’ve been using NH90s and Tigers. Ground forces I’m not sure, there is however a large Chinese ground contingent. The French are covering both Mali and Chad and have some troops in Senegal.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Ta. I’m not up to speed on the situation at all.

Mark
Guest
Mark

I’m not sure the French want any help – they probably see it as their problem and just want help where they lack resources in key areas. Your comment about Afghanistan is shared by many. The key I think is that we have learnt from any mistakes and we now know how to either do it right or opt not to do it at all. Every option has consequences. Perhaps not going into Afghanistan would have been better or much worse. The Generals need to have worked it out and know how to explain it to their political masters. No… Read more »

Bob
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Bob

Estonia have a small company deployed and Italy are sending 470 troops to Niger.

Gandalf
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Gandalf

I think they did ok with the hostage rescue in Burkina Faso just recently 😉

Xenophobia aside, it’s in the West’s interest to keep these crazies in check in the Sahel, otherwise they will continue to move south into Ivory Coast and Nigeria. If they join forces with boko haram, the problems will only get bigger and spread farther. Not to mention that Isis in Syria is probably looking for a new home

Sceptical Richard
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Sceptical Richard

I think the French don’t need to be shown anything

Joe16
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Joe16

While I know you’re mostly joking, the French mission in Mali seems to have been widely praised for its effectiveness. Sending troops in support might actually be good for us, especially as we move to wheeled (or part wheeled) strike brigades not too dissimilar to the ones that France are operating out there. Interestingly was reading a piece from Sir Humphry on the latest survey of military personnel. Apparently morale in the RM is noticeably lower since they got “re-roled” to a more maritime role after deployments to Afghanistan. He thought it might partly be due to having a motivated,… Read more »

Gandalf
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Gandalf

Would have been great to see the boxers and jltv tested out there.
Unfortunately boxer first delivery is 2023, unless UK gets some earlier if Germans decide not to take some deliveries, afterall it’s not like they use them for anything
No clue when jltv will be delivered

Joe16
Guest
Joe16

Yeah, would have been nice, but seeing how they deploy their wheeled units would bring some clarity to what is apparently a rather murky idea (strike) from what I’ve read…
From discussions on here and on other sites, JLTV might be looking a bit shaky… Apparently costs (to UK, at least) have gone up to the point that it might make Foxhound viable instead, according to those more knowledgeable than me. A good thing for UK Plc in my opinion, as long as the procurement programme can be run effectively.

Gandalf
Guest
Gandalf

Yes makes no sense to get jvtl if it costs the same as foxhound or iveco panther. Foxhound looks like it offers better protection. What was the feedback from deployments in afghanistan? Also I remember seeing positive reviews about the panther. How competitive are prices for australian hawkei or arquus sherpa? The one thing that shocks me is that there seems to be no logic in procurement, too many different brands of similar type vehicules. The Mod should streamline and choose one model , better buying costs in larger quantities as well as maintenance costs and training, parts, etc…

Joe16
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Joe16

Honestly, I don’t have fuill answers to your questions- hopefully Gunbuster, Rudeboy or some other person in the know will drop by. I believe that feedback on Foxhound was very good, and I’m afraid I’m not familiar with the other vehicles at all really. I’d definitely preferentially go for Foxhound, as it’s a UK-manufactured vehicle that does the job well. May even be enough to jump start some exports too. I believe that the array of different types was brought about by the way they were all purchased under UORs for Iraq and Afghanistan. MRAP-style vehicles were developed pretty hurriedly,… Read more »

Gandalf
Guest
Gandalf

I agree the foxhound makes sense on many levels, seems better protected and made in britain. I think that they could make a variant that is longer 6×6 to transport 8 or 10 infantry, slap on a remote 50 cal turret. Sometime a 50cal is more than enough so no need for 40mm boxer costing several million pounds
Also you could make a recon variant of the 4×4 foxhound, just add a remote turret (50cal, 20mm?), a spike launcher and some good optics and sensors
My novice 2 cents

Joe16
Guest
Joe16

All good suggestions for viable vehicles.
I guess the key is making sure that you’re filling a requirement; I believe there is one for what you’re describing, which will more or less replace current troop trucks with a better protected option (it will also be used as an ambulance).
But my understanding is that the actual competition for that stage will follow the one for the JLTV-size vehicle. If Foxhound wins that instead, then no reason why not to try extending the platform etc!

DaveyB
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DaveyB

From personal experience, I had two Foxhound on my last deployment with the Canadians. Some stupid rule saying Brit troops aren’t allowed to use other Nations vehicles. Anyhow, both vehicles suffered some gremlins. One would completely loose power randomly whilst the other constantly overheated. The first was down to a melted fusebox and the second was due to a head gasket. Both vehicles were equipped with a remote weapon system mounting a gympy. After we sorted these gremlins the Foxhounds were very reliable and could literally go anywhere. It was not overly fast, but had decent armour that protected us… Read more »

Gandalf
Guest
Gandalf

Thx for sharing your experience, it is very interesting

Cam
Guest
Cam

It would be great training for the marines also.

Jon
Guest
Jon

Show them how its done? they seem to be doing ok by themselves

Cam
Guest
Cam

Yeah it wasn’t meant literally! Why do they need our chinooks if they are doing ok by themselves?

Jon
Guest
Jon

You never said anything about Transport assets, you were taking about fighting

Gandalf
Guest
Gandalf

They are doing ok on the ground, as much as expected with the “whack-a-mole” operations.
But the french do not have heavy lift helicopters since they retired the super frelon in 2010! With no planned replacement this is an oversight imo. Not sure if this will make them realize they need to develop a heavy lift platform with Germany, since the German ch53 are getting old as well, or purchase some chinooks. Until then the french will be dependent on allies’ goodwill to fill their capability gap

Chris J
Guest
Chris J

Why on earth are we helping the French with anything? I’m not some mad tinfoil hat wearing brexiteer, I voted remain, but given the way Macron in particular has treated the UK during the brexit negotiations I’d be telling France to go take a long walk off a short pier and that’s putting it politely.

Probably a good thing that I’m not in charge…

simon brown
Guest
simon brown

Lancaster house treaty

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

We are helping the French as part of an agreement on maritime surveillance amongst other things. The agreement was part of a package, which included Intelligence and heavy lift helicopter support. They are providing support to our nuclear deterrent with their Atlantic aircraft. I’m not sure how long the agreement is for, however. As the first operational Poseidon won’t be available for a number of years yet.

Mark
Guest
Mark

Might be good if someone was in charge …

Sceptical Richard
Guest
Sceptical Richard

Probably is a good thing…

Robert Blay
Guest
Robert Blay

Well regardless of what presidents and Prime Ministers say in public, what goes on behind the scenes is very different, and we do have very close military ties with the French.

Jon
Guest
Jon

Becuase fighting these insurgents is in our national interest

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

To be fair our support and commitment with the French in training and operations goes way past silly political posturing by shallow tin pot politicians like Macron. The French lads are on top of their game and are working hard in a number of areas, certainly in kicking these brainwashed moron jihadi shit stained clowns right in their arses! I know we all like a bit of French bashing (and they do the corned beef thing to us) but we are just as close to the French as we are the the Americans, and in some ways and areas, closer.