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Partial redeployment of personnel from Tactical Air Detachment 'Marfil'.

In Thiès, Senegal
July 9, 2024
  • The format of Spanish participation is modified to optimise resources following the decrease in the Detachment's activities.
Part of the 59 components of the Tactical Air Detachment (DAT) 'Marfil' at the facilities of the "Escale Aéronautique Commandant LEMAITRE" at the Blaise Diagne International Airport in Dakar, Senegal. These personnel were deployed from Senegal throughout the Sahel and West Africa in support of EU and French missions in their fight against jihadist terrorism in the region, mainly in Mali.
Following the closure of EUTM-Mali, activity has decreased, making it necessary to readapt the Detachment's mission in order to optimise the resources of the Air and Space Army from national territory. From now on, the C-295 aircraft will be temporarily deployed at the Dakar facility where, until now, it was permanently deployed.
A small team will permanently man the facilities in Senegal, which will be reinforced when the aircraft has to travel to that area as required, in accordance with Spain's commitments as one more tool in the government's external action. 

DAT 'Marfil'

The DAT 'Marfil', made up of Air and Space Army personnel, belonging to Operation A/M, operates from the "Escale Aéronautique Commandant LEMAITRE", at the French Elements in Senegal (EFS) facilities at the Blaise Diagne International Airport, a few kilometres from Dakar (Senegal).
Under the operational command of the MOPS, it is tasked with intra-theatre tactical and logistical airlift missions, as well as in-flight refuelling, in the event that the air assets deployed so permit, in support of France in its fight against terrorism. Similarly, the Detachment also supports the United Nations mission MINUSCA to stabilise Central Africa, as well as the European Union mission EUTM RCA. It also did the same with the EU mission, EUTM Mali, which has now come to an end.
The Detachment was composed of military personnel from different Air and Space Army units, mostly personnel from the 35th Wing, the Air Deployment Support Squadron (EADA) and the Mobile Air Control Group (GRUMOCA). It operates with an 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 programming the missions of the Spanish aircraft, which operates H24 in the joint operations area (JOA).
This Detachment is an example of the capabilities provided by the Air and Space Army to other Armed Forces, where availability and operability are paramount. 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 seasonal storms. These factors, coupled with the large area of operations where the missions are conducted, are a constant challenge for the aircrews of the Detachment.
After eleven years of operation, the DAT 'Marfil' is consolidated as another example of the contribution of the Armed Forces to the State's foreign action in its commitment to international peace and security.