A Royal Air Force C-17 transport aircraft has arrived in France to provide heavy-lift support to French aid efforts in the Caribbean following a request for assistance from French President Emmanuel Macron.

As one of Britain’s closest allies in Europe, the two militaries enjoy a close working relationship.

At Évreux-Fauville Air Base, west of Paris, three vehicles and other equipment will be loaded aboard the aircraft for transport to the French Island of Guadeloupe which sustained considerable damage by Hurricane Irma.

Colonel David Desjardins, the Base Commander of Évreux-Fauville Air Base, said:

“Cooperation between the French Air Force and Royal Air Force has been in place a long time. 

Today we are working together to send engineers and equipment to support both the clean-up operation and the population affected by Hurricane Irma. 

We do often work together such as operations in Africa and the Middle East, we work well together” 

The vehicles being transported comprise a tipper truck, digger and a specialist bulldozer, one of only six examples in the world. The C-17, operated by RAF Brize Norton based 99 Squadron, is one of a number of RAF aircraft currently enabling the delivery of humanitarian aid and disaster relief to the Caribbean.

The flight is the latest example of the close relationship between the French and UK Armed Forces. The two nations, which have the largest defence budgets in Europe, continue to work closely on shared interests. British and French forces are deployed together in NATO, fighting against Daesh in Iraq and Syria and training together across the globe.

RAF C-17s have also been used on a regular basis in recent years to transport freight from France to sub-Saharan Africa.

The RAF C-17 fleet also continues to directly support the UK aid effort; a Puma helicopter will be airlifted today to the Caribbean to join the two Pumas already operating in the region.


    • I was wondering that too, they seem to A340’s and around 14 C-130’s which should be able to do the job, maybe it’s poor maintenance on their part and they simply can’t generate enough flights out of the aircraft.

      Or we are just better 😉

  1. Not just the French, the entire continent has a very poor long range supply issue. So bad that the US (with their NATO hat on) set up the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) for a large part of EU half of NATO.(Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia,)
    gifting the first C17,the others bought the other 2 and they use the planes on a time-share basis.

    The French (As did the Germans) stuck with the A400 and found out later that the plane isn’t as good as they were told. (Blair also signed up the RAF, however with the war in Afghanistan , the RAF asked for and bought 8 C17s (the initial 4 were leased until the Tories bought them and another 4)) The French realising that the A400 isn’t that good for refuelling helos have purchased 4 C-130J.

  2. farouk – with respect I think the reason the French (and the Germans) are back peddling on A400M is more financial than performance related. The French are certainly in bother and the Germans are just doing what they always do: Promise large orders, get a big workshare and then back out. They did it with Tornado and with Typhoon.

    The RAF have the largest fleet and the highest accumulated hours on A400M and as far as I am aware they have performed pretty well ‘out of the box’. They have certainly been all round the world. Given the C-17 is a very expensive transporter (but very capable) and isn’t built anymore and the C-130s are now old by any standards the A400M fills a very useful niche in the market. It can ‘lift more than a C-130 and deliver it where a C-17 can’t go’ (as the sales blurb tells us).

    Its quite amusing that the US Stryker design was modified to fit the C-130, then when they added external armour it wouldn’t fit! But it does fit in an A400M. Not that the Yanks will buy it of course

    • Sacrificing capability on the altar of fitting everything in a C-130 in retrospect was a bad idea.

      The advent of the IED & every militant worth their goat meat packing more than 20mm cannon means you have to go big or go home.
      The Stryker is simply over-matched & under-protected.

      They need a new mid-sized transport aircraft.
      Something that would look remarkably similar to the A400 but not get the lawyers worried!

    • Chris,
      Good evening. Thank you for your reply. Apologies, I can see where my previous post alluded to the A400 being crap. Nothing of the sort. The French as the only other European country (The UK as the other) with the means of power projection outside Europe placed all its long range air transport eggs with the A400 (they have 50 on order). It is this disjointed procurement policy within the EU (And the European part of NATO) which makes defence so expensive. I’m all for team work and a co-ordinated defence policy yet in Europe we have 13 different types of MBTs of which 7 are indigenous to their respective countries , yes I admit they all come from a previous time, but any form of standardisation would be a godsend towards getting more bang for the buck ok Euro, which would only make the European arm of NATO much more effective. As for the C17, it wasn’t that much more expensive than the A400 (Around 50 million more)

  3. Regardless of brexit our European neighbours are important allies, we should help each other as the situation dictates.

    Given the desire of some parts of the EU for an unified EU military force taking instructions from an EU president it’s probably for the best we are leaving.

  4. Please dont ridicule each other its rather petty
    They helped us with there maritime aircraft so we return the favour
    Dont be so petty your sounding like politicians

  5. Maybe in return the French could loan us some exocets to put on our warships. Otherwise yes the French have loaned mpa’s to fill the ridiculous capability gapped caused by SDSR 2010. We should have just bought Poseidon then.

  6. The French have assisted GB with their aircraft carrier and having a better navy than ours now, we should be grateful to them.

  7. The point not being addressed is what the physical outcome on the ground would be. If KJU launched or detonated nuclear weapons either on Japan, Guam or any part of the US or possibly even Europe, assuming he has enough warheads, then the outcome for NK would be devastation. The NK regime has far more to lose, though its people probably not. Unfortunately it would spill over into China, so the scenario of retaining a N and S Korean state is least problematical. This outcome would remove the current leadership of NK and effectively it becomes a satellite state of China, providing the buffer it desires. KJU wants parity with US, which will never happen, though he may end up with a few fusion tipped warheads or even ships, but that will not be sufficient to beat the US or the rest of the world. A US pre-emptive strike would be far more likely to end up in conflict with Russia and China so unfortunately it will be a case of waiting for NK to strike (or attempt one) first, hopefully anti-missile defences should limit any damage. Then a few shock and awe demonstrations should be enough of an encouragement especially if they destroyed the NK nuclear infrastructure to provide the North Koreans with an impetus to sort themselves out. Given the state of the regime and the apparent lack of political alternate leadership it is probably unlikely that there will be a government in the wings waiting to take over. China should be invited to sort that aspect out. We also need to remember that there is a lot of traditional enmity between China and Korea against Japan.


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