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The 40th Contingent takes over in the 'Marfil Detachment'

January 18, 2023
  • The Spanish Armed Forces continue their participation in the mission to support France in the fight against terrorism and the stabilisation of the Sahel

At the "Escale Aéronautique Commandant Lemaître" at Blaise Diagne International Airport -where the “Marfil” Tactical Air Detachment (TAD) operates from -the inauguration and transfer of command of the incoming and outgoing force commanders took place.

The official ceremony was presided over by Colonel Ignacio Lanzat Lacour, head of the Information and Communications Systems Section (J6) of the Operations Command (MOPS, in Spanish). Following the protocol, Lieutenant Colonel Carlos Jiménez Andrés received the command of the Marfil TAD, with Lieutenant Colonel Carlos Enrique Doménech Salvador stepping down.

In his speech, Colonel Lanzat praised the great work carried out by the outgoing contingent, highlighting the importance of Spain's firm commitment to peace and international security. He also encouraged the members of the incoming contingent to continue this work, as an outstanding example of the contribution of the Armed Forces to foreign action.

Marfil Detachment

The Marfil TAD is part of A/M Operation. Its deployment base is the "Escale Aeéronautique Commandant Lemaître", located at the French Elements in Senegal (FES) facility at Blaise Diagne International Airport.

Under the MOPS operational command, this operation is tasked with intra-theatre tactical airlift and logistics missions, as well as in-flight refuelling (if deployed assets permit) in support of France in its fight against terrorism.

In addition, the Marfil TAD supports the UN missions MINUSMA and MINUSCA, focused on the stabilisation of Mali and Central Africa, respectively, as well as the EU missions EUTM RCA and EUTM Mali, in support of the training and education of their armed forces and the G5 Sahel Joint Force.

The Detachment is made up of 70 military personnel from different Air and Space Army units, mostly personnel from the 35th Wing, the Air Deployment Support Squadron (ADSS) and the Mobile Air Control Group (MACG). It operates with two Airbus C295 aircraft (military designation T-21) belonging to the 35th Wing, located at the Getafe Air Base (Madrid). The mission's Joint Force Air Component (JFAC), located in Lyon (France), is responsible for scheduling the missions of the two Spanish aircraft, which operate H24 in the joint operations area (JOA).

This Detachment is an example of the capabilities that Spain provides to other Armed Forces, where availability and operability are paramount. The resources operate in a sub-Saharan environment, which often means landing in unprepared fields and in extreme weather conditions of high temperatures and heavy rain, due to frequent seasonal storms. These factors, coupled with the large area of operations where missions are conducted, are a constant challenge for the Detachment's aircrews.

After more than nine years of operation, the Marfil Detachment is consolidated as an example of the use of our Armed Forces, deployed wherever national interests require it, strengthening the State's external action in its commitment to international peace and security.