The official inauguration and handover ceremony between the incoming and outgoing contingent commanders of the Marfil Tactical Air Detachment (DAT) took place at the "Escale Aéronautique Commandant Lemaitre" at the "Blaise Diagne" International Airport. The ceremony, that observed all protocols imposed by the COVID19 pandemic, was presided over by Colonel Luis Fernando García-Mauriño Espino, representative of the Operations Command (MOPS).
In a short speech, Colonel García-Mauriño acknowledged the Force Commander of the 35th contingent for his efforts and achievements during his deployment, encouraging his successor to continue in the pursuit of new goals and thereby reaffirming Spain's firm commitment to peace and international security, particularly in the sub-Saharan region.
The Air Force's DAT Marfil belonging to Operation A/M operates from the French Elements in Senegal (EFS) facility at "Blaise Diagne" International Airport, a few kilometres from Dakar (Senegal).
Under the operational control of the MOPS, the Detachment is tasked with intra-theatre tactical and logistical airlift missions, as well as in-flight refuelling, should the air assets deployed so permit, in support of France in its fight against terrorism within the framework of Operation Barkhane. Similarly, 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 the education and training 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 the Getafe Air Base. The mission's Joint Force Air Component Command (JFACC), located in Lyon (France), is in charge of scheduling the missions of the two Spanish aircraft, which operate H24 in the joint operations area (JOA).
After more than eight years of operation, the DAT Marfil is consolidated as an exemplary example of the contribution of the Armed Forces to the State's external action in its commitment to international peace and security.