Spain decided to support the French efforts with three measures:
The first measure aimed at facilitating the French deployment and aerial operations to the operations area. It consisted on authorising the use of sovereign air space and the area adjacent to territorial waters by French aircrafts participating in the operation.
The second measure consisted on accelerating planning under the scope of the European Union to establish the FAM training mission called EUTM Mali.
And the final measure deployed a T-10 Hercules plane from the Air Force to operate from Dakar in support of France and the AFISMA countries.
France launched Operation Serval in January 2013 to stop the advance of jihadis towards the south of Mali, to prevent the fall of the capital (Bamako) and to liberate the main northern cities that had become a safe haven for terrorists.
In the same month, Spain joined the mission with its decision to facilitate the flyover and temporary landing of aircrafts from EU member countries and with the deployment of the Marfil detachment in Dakar (Senegal).
Subsequently, Serval was, along with other French operations in West Africa, absorbed into Operation Barkhane, which the Spanish Armed Forces have continued to contribute to. The mission centres on the contribution of French intratheater transport through Operation Barkhane and the United Nations MINUSMA mission.
Likewise, the Marfil Detachment plane supports the EUTM-Mali´s Spanish contingent, the EU mission to train the Malian Army.
The Mali crisis began in January 2012, when a tuareg uprising, promoted by the Azawad National Liberation Movement (MNLA), began in the north of the country.
Due to the weakness of the Government against the uprising, a coup d’état took place, that marked the overthrow of the then president, Amadu Tumani Turé, and the beginning of a period of political turbulence.
Independence was declared in the north of Mali, while the MNLA were left defeated by three jihadist movements; Magreb Al Qaeda, Mujao and Ansar Dine.
Events accelerated on 10th January 2013, when Ansar Dine broke the truce and headed an invasion of the south. This invasion threatened the city of Mopti, whose conquest would have left the path clear to Bamako.
In July 2014, France decided to expand the scope of the operation along the fringe of the Sahel to increase the efficacy of the fight against terrorism. This led to relocation of the Bamako (Mali) headquarters to D´jamena (Chad) and a name change for the operation, which was to be called ´Barkhane´ from 1st August 2014.
· April 22. The 26th contingent, with the lieutenant colonel Juan Gonzalo Fernández González in charge, has taken over the Marfil Detachment, located at the Aérienne Senghor air base.
· January 17. Handover/takeover (HOTO) of the Marfil Detachment to support the fight against terrorism takes place. The Lieutenant Colonel Emilio Asensio Bautista Martínez is in charge of the 25th contingent.
· July 20. Rotation nº 23 has taken over from the Marfil Detachment, under the command of lieutenant colonel Alberto Rodís Martínez.
· April 18: Lieutenant colonel Manuel De Miguel Ramírez takes over from the Detachment in charge of the 22nd contingent.
· January 29. The Marfil Detachment turns 5 years operating from its base in Dakar (Senegal). It has transported 3.700 tonnes of cargo and more than 22.000 passengers during its mission flying over the Sahel.
· December 28. Participation in the mission is extended till December 2018. The current level of 50 forces is maintained.
· February 17. First resupplies in flight within Barkhane operation.
· January 15. “Marfil” Detachment flights for the first time to Tessalit (Malí).
· December 18th. The T-10 aircraft deployed in Darkar reaches 1.000 hours of flight.
· February. 648 passengers have been transported this month, reaching the maximum number so far.
· January 29. The T-10 aircraft (C-130 Hércules) performs its first mission.
· January 26. The first contingent of the Marfil Detachment is deployed in Dakar (Senegal).
The “Ivory” Detachment continues supporting the fight against terrorism with the arrival of the 29th contingent2020/01/16
Dakar, SenegalMore information
Contingent relief in Marfil Detachment2019/10/17
In Dakar, SenegalMore information
Un nuevo relevo en el Destacamento Marfil da continuidad a la lucha contra el terrorismo2019/04/22
El nuevo contingente, con el teniente coronel Juan Gonzalo Fernández González al mando, seguirá contribuyendo al transporte estratégico y táctico en apoyo a las fuerzas francesasMore information