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'Military Day' celebration at 'Marfil' Tactical Air Detachment

Thiès, Senegal
November 17, 2021
  • The event took place one month after the deployment of the first members of the 35th Contingent

The “Marfil” Tactical Air Detachment, deployed in Dakar, celebrated the “military day”, at the faclities of the "Escale Aéronautique Commandant LEMAITRE" in Thiès. The ceremony began with the solemn hoisting of the national flag, followed by the reading of two ordinances related to the international missions carried out by the armed forces.

Personnel from the Force Protection section of the Air Deployment Support Squadron presented the equipment available for the A/M operation. The Air Mobility Protection Teams (AMPT) explained in detail the functions they perform for the correct accomplishment of the mission. Particularly surprising was the weight of the individual equipment (around 30 kilos) and the physical demands of handling it due to the extreme conditions of the African continent, with temperatures of over 40 degrees Celsius.

Afterwards, personnel from the CIS section (Information and Telecommunication Systems) of the detachment gave a talk on cyber defence and awareness of the use of information systems. The importance of making responsible use of all means, both official and private, to reduce vulnerabilities and work in a secure way was highlighted. 

Marfil Detachment

The “Marfil” Tactical Air Detachment (DAT), integrated into Operation A / M, operates from the 'Escale Aéronautique Commandant LEMAITRE', at the Blaise Diagne International Airport, a few kilometres from Dakar (Senegal). Under the operational command of MOPS, it conducts intratheater logistics airlift and in-flight refuelling missions, in support of France in its fight against terrorism in Operation Barkhane.

The detachment also supports the United Nations missions MINUSMA and MINUSCA, for the stabilization of Mali and Central Africa respectively along with the missions of the European Union EUTM RCA and EUTM Mali, regarding formation and training of the armed forces of these countries; as well as the G5 Sahel Joint Force.

The contingent is made up of 70 soldiers from different units of the Air Force; most of the military personnel belong to the 35th Wing, the Air Deployment Support Squadron (EADA) and the Mobile Air Control Group (GRUMOCA). The contingent operates two Airbus C295 (T-21) aircraft belonging to the 35th Wing -Getafe Air Force Base. The mission's ‘Joint Force Air Component Command’ (JFACC), is based in Lyon (France), and is in charge of the schedule of the two Spanish aircraft.

The Detachment is an example of the capabilities provided by the Air Force to other Armed Forces, where the availability and operability of what is provided is a priority. The resources operate in a sub-Saharan environment, often in unprepared camps and in extreme weather conditions of high temperatures and heavy rain due to frequent storms. These factors, together with the extensive area of operations where the missions are carried out, are a constant challenge for the air crews of the Detachment.

After more than eight years of operation, The “Marfil” Tactical Air Detachment (DAT), is consolidated as an example of the contribution of the Armed Forces to the foreign action of Spain and its commitment to global security.