The Marfil Detachment has commemorated the support of the 35th Wing to the operation in Senegal with the relay race "The 35 of the 35", in which 35 participants run one kilometre. With this simple activity of sporting companionship, the components of the 35th rotation of the Marfil Detachment wanted to pay tribute to the effort that the 35th Wing has made in sustaining the operation for more than eight years.
For more than an hour, 35 runners covered the distance; while the rest of the military personnel cheered on to make the effort more bearable. Although the starting order of the participants was determined by their age, starting from oldest to youngest, the last bib, number 35, was reserved for a member of the 35th Wing. In this case, Lieutenant Jorge Carmona had the honour of being the last reliever and receiving a well-deserved tribute from all his comrades in arms at the finish line.
The 35th Wing supports the operation with two C-295 aircraft, although the main effort is made by its personnel, who provide more than 33% of the components of the Marfil Detachment. A group of professionals made up of pilots, load supervisors, engineers, structural mechanics, engine mechanics, electrical mechanics, electronics mechanics, oxygen mechanics, armourers and operations support personnel who carry out their mission for the security of the Spanish people, both within and outside our borders.
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.
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.