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The director of the Instituto Cervantes in Dakar gives a lecture to the staff of the Marfil Detachment

Thiès, Senegal
November 10, 2021
  • Nestor Nongo spoke about the projection of the Spanish language as a language of study in West Africa

As part of the 'Ateneo Marfil' series of conferences, the members of the Marfil Detachment were visited by the director of the Instituto Cervantes in Dakar, Néstor Nongo, a civil servant with extensive experience both in teaching and in the world of culture.

The director began his lecture by praising the work of the Spanish Armed Forces, especially their participation in international missions such as that of the Marfil Detachment, which supports stabilization in the Sahel area. He also stressed the importance of the presence of the Armed Forces in the dissemination of the Spanish language, considering the military to be the best ambassadors of the language abroad.

Speaking specifically with regard to the Institute, Néstor Nongo explained its origin, organization and missions of the more than 85 delegations spread over the five continents, to promote, teach and disseminate Spanish language, Spanish culture and Spanish-speaking countries. He also highlighted the challenges of the centre in Dakar, which seeks to increase the influence of the Spanish language in Senegal through the coordination of teachers and the organization of exams for Spanish diplomas. As challenges for the future, he mentioned the promotion of cultural activities in collaboration with other organizations, and the vision of making the Institute the centre of Spanish-speaking culture in Senegal.

Marfil Detachment

DAT Marfil belonging to Operation A/M operates from the 'Escale Aéronautique Commandant LEMAITRE', within the French Elements in Senegal (EFS) facilities at Blaise Diagne International Airport, a few kilometres from Dakar (Senegal). Under the operational command of the MOPS, it is tasked with intra-theatre tactical and logistical airlift missions, as well as in-flight refuelling, in the event that the air assets deployed allow it, in support of France in its struggle against terrorism within the framework of Operation Barkhane. Moreover, the Detachment also supports the United Nations missions MINUSMA and MINUSCA, to stabilise Mali and Central Africa respectively, as well as the European Union missions EUTM RCA and EUTM Mali, to support training and education of the armed forces of these countries, and the G5 Sahel Joint Force.

The Detachment is made up of 70 military personnel from different Air Force units, mostly personnel from the 35th Wing, the Air Deployment Support Squadron (EADA) and the Mobile Air Control Group (GRUMOCA). It operates with two Airbus C295 (T-21) aircraft belonging to the 35th Wing of Getafe Air Base. The Joint Force Air Component Command (JFACC), located in Lyon (France), is in charge of scheduling the missions of the two Spanish aircraft.

For over eight years of operations, DAT 'Marfil' is consolidated as another evidence of the Armed Forces' contribution to Spain's foreign action in its commitment to international peace and security.