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.