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Opération Serval - Mali.

The funerals, in Haguenau, Alsace, of the 2 hussard KIA last week by an IED. The 3rd crew member of the VBL, who WIA in the attack, was also present.
ErOGXtsW4AAj1LH.jpeg
 
Thanks @fantassin . The linked article has a video attached, which is an excellent summary in French (perhaps you can get a ropey Google subtitled translation) of the current French military involvement in the Sahel.
Would be good idea. I don't understand a word they are saying. Although I can just about decipher some of what the subtitles mean in my ancient school boy French, enough to get the gist of the video.
 
The first of the 55 retrofitted Mirage 2000D (out of a fleet of 68 ) ordered in 2018 has been delivered.

The 2000D is the mainstay of air support in the Op Barkhane area. The retrofitted version can now be fitted with a 30 mm gun pod as illustrated below.

ErNzjsdXEAIe7dP.jpeg
 
A very polished product!
FYI just in case anyone didn't know, for videos played on YouTube you can play the video with subtitles if it doesn't have any.

Open the video, click on the settings icon then click on the subtitle icon, choose auto-translate, then pick your language. Et Voila!!
 
An interesting update on who does what regarding TF Takuba translated from the Brussels2 blog

Five countries involved in total

Two national contingents are already in Mali
(Estonia and Czech Republic), a third should arrive, Sweden, with a significant contingent (150 people). Enough to form three task-groups, in partnership with the French. Only three task-groups Each contingent of special forces is attached to a ULRI (Light Reconnaissance and Intervention Unit) of the Malian army. With the objective of triple A: Assist (er), Advise (advise), Accompagn (er), to support the move upmarket of the Malian forces until they are fully autonomous. The 1st Franco-Estonian task-group, the oldest, is made up of 60 French and 30 Estonians, based in Gao and attached to the 4th ULRI with 90 personnel, from the 132nd mechanized company of Gao, and some Nigerien elements. The 2nd Franco-Czech task-group should have the same size (51 French and more than thirty Czechs), with operational capacity reached in mid-January. It will be based in Menaka and attached to the 2nd ULRI. The 3rd Franco-Swedish task-group will also be based in Menaka, which is larger. They will be operational by March. The Swedes will also provide a QRF, rapid reaction force, surgical components, as well as Black Hawk helicopters. This is very useful for Operation Barkhane, which lacks helicopter resources.

Two more countries by the end of the year
The Italians will not arrive right away. Rome will ultimately not send combat forces as such, capable of constituting a task-group (based in Ansongo), as originally planned, in the bill presented by the government in May 2020 and approved in Parliament in July. The Italians will bring a Medevac component (normally with helicopters), which will not be integrated into the combat forces. Expected arrival: rather in the second semester.
As for Greece, discussions are underway ”according to an official from the Ministry of the Armed Forces, in order to determine the exact profile of their participation. This would remain modest, according to our first assessment, of the order of a few dozen (maximum) people, who would not join a task group.

A presence at HQ level
Four countries (Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal) participate by sending from one to four officers to the force headquarters in N’Djamena or Gao. This participation is symbolic in itself, but it can be useful in preparing for a more robust future participation in the field. As a foreign officer put it, above all it allows "to know more" about the modalities of the operation and to "report" these elements internally.

Political support
Three countries are not physically present but politically support the force (Germany, Norway, United Kingdom). Regarding Norway is started off with the planned deployment of an SF unit but Oslo retreated due to lack of support from the Storting, the Norwegian parliament.
 
According to a French MP in charge of defense matters, an improvement to the protection of the VBL has been produced and deliveries will start in the Summer of 2021
 
An interesting update on who does what regarding TF Takuba translated from the Brussels2 blog

Five countries involved in total

Two national contingents are already in Mali
(Estonia and Czech Republic), a third should arrive, Sweden, with a significant contingent (150 people). Enough to form three task-groups, in partnership with the French. Only three task-groups Each contingent of special forces is attached to a ULRI (Light Reconnaissance and Intervention Unit) of the Malian army. With the objective of triple A: Assist (er), Advise (advise), Accompagn (er), to support the move upmarket of the Malian forces until they are fully autonomous. The 1st Franco-Estonian task-group, the oldest, is made up of 60 French and 30 Estonians, based in Gao and attached to the 4th ULRI with 90 personnel, from the 132nd mechanized company of Gao, and some Nigerien elements. The 2nd Franco-Czech task-group should have the same size (51 French and more than thirty Czechs), with operational capacity reached in mid-January. It will be based in Menaka and attached to the 2nd ULRI. The 3rd Franco-Swedish task-group will also be based in Menaka, which is larger. They will be operational by March. The Swedes will also provide a QRF, rapid reaction force, surgical components, as well as Black Hawk helicopters. This is very useful for Operation Barkhane, which lacks helicopter resources.

Two more countries by the end of the year
The Italians will not arrive right away. Rome will ultimately not send combat forces as such, capable of constituting a task-group (based in Ansongo), as originally planned, in the bill presented by the government in May 2020 and approved in Parliament in July. The Italians will bring a Medevac component (normally with helicopters), which will not be integrated into the combat forces. Expected arrival: rather in the second semester.
As for Greece, discussions are underway ”according to an official from the Ministry of the Armed Forces, in order to determine the exact profile of their participation. This would remain modest, according to our first assessment, of the order of a few dozen (maximum) people, who would not join a task group.

A presence at HQ level
Four countries (Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal) participate by sending from one to four officers to the force headquarters in N’Djamena or Gao. This participation is symbolic in itself, but it can be useful in preparing for a more robust future participation in the field. As a foreign officer put it, above all it allows "to know more" about the modalities of the operation and to "report" these elements internally.

Political support
Three countries are not physically present but politically support the force (Germany, Norway, United Kingdom). Regarding Norway is started off with the planned deployment of an SF unit but Oslo retreated due to lack of support from the Storting, the Norwegian parliament.
No mention of UK forces.
 
A rare bird belonging to the French Army Air Corps (ALAT), the Pilatus PC-6. It supports ALAT operations, especially with the quick delivery of spare parts.

View attachment 538883
An excellent small STOL capable aircraft for operating from improvised desert airstrips. I have personal experience of the great work done by experienced bush pilots working for Zimex Aviation (a Swiss company) who supported many oil companies in remote locations in the Algerian Sahara in the nineties with such aircraft.
 
Because the UK has refused to join TF Takuba.
Apologies for my mongness. I know the UK have forces out in Mali, on a UN mission. I wonder if the UK gov, decided not to join TF Takuba because it is a direct combat role and the gov don't want to be seen by the UK populace of entering another war in a dusty place.
 
Apologies for my mongness. I know the UK have forces out in Mali, on a UN mission. I wonder if the UK gov, decided not to join TF Takuba because it is a direct combat role and the gov don't want to be seen by the UK populace of entering another war in a dusty place.
No worries, the quantity of different missions in the same place leads to confusion...
 
I certainly agree with that statement!
The title of this thread is confusing as well, as Op Serval was succeeded by Op Barkhane years ago. I know @fantassin tried to have the Mods change it, but nothing happened. I wonder why?
 

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