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The Chief of the Air Force Staff visits Detachment 'Marfil'

In Thiès, Senegal
June 7, 2022
  • Air Force General Javier Salto Martínez-Avial verified the personnel’s training involved in the support operation for France in the fight against the terrorist threat

The Chief of the Air Force Staff (JEMA in Spanish), Air General Javier Salto Martínez-Avial, visited the military deployed in the mission in Dakar (Senegal), the Air Detachment ‘Marfil’, under the operational control of the Operations Command. The visit started with a meeting between the JEMA, the military vicar and the Paule Lapique school’nun, Sister Hortensia, with whom the detachment carried out several cooperation projects and donations.

Next, the JEMA visited the maintenance hangar, where there was a static exhibition of the material used by the EADA (Air Deployment Support Squadron), and the Force Chief, Lieutenant Colonel José Gabriel Gárriz Hernández explained the missions carried out by the detachment as well as the resorces and personnel available to carry them out.

The modular building was also visited and the areas of Health, Force Protection, CIS, INTEL and Operations, among others, showed the activities they carry out.

At the end, General Salto dedicated a few words to the contingent, highlighting the importance of the mission to be carried out, and extolling values, such as dedication and comradeship, key elements of every soldier, before greeting the members of the detachment.

Marfil Detachment

Spanish Air Force's DAT 'Marfil' operates from the 'Escale Aéronautique Commandant LEMAITRE', in the facilities of the French Elements in Senegal (EFS) at the Blaise Diagne International Airport, a few kilometres from Dakar (Senegal). Under the operational command of the Operations Command (MOPS), it is tasked with intra-theatre tactical and logistical airlift missions, as well as in-flight refuelling, if the air assets deployed so permit, in support of France in its fight against terrorism within the framework of Operation Barkhane. 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 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 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), an extensive area that includes 21 African countries, slightly larger than continental Europe.

After being operational for over eight years, DAT 'Marfil' has become an outstanding example of the contribution of the Armed Forces to Spain's external action in its commitment to international peace and security.