United Kingdom assistance for French Mali operation

Ministry of Defence said:
Speaking on the BBC News channel, Foreign Office Minister Mark Simmonds discussed the UK Government’s offer of logistical support to the French Government:
“The UK has offered, at French request, two transport aircraft. As the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary have confirmed, there’ll be no British forces involved in a combat role at all. We’ve been concerned alongside the international community about the situation in northern Mali for some time. The northern part of Mali is controlled by al Qaeda and other terrorist organisations and that poses a potential direct threat to the UK and regional stability.
“We’re working with the United Nations where there have been two resolutions and the African Union and ECOWAS, which is the African regional organisation, to provide both an immediate and a long term sustainable solution to the challenge that is faced in Mali.”
Earlier on Sky’s Murnaghan programme, Mark Simmonds underlined the importance of regional action on Mali. He said it was right that ECOWAS, the western African organisation, would ultimately be at the forefront of action. ECOWAS will form part of the future deployment of a longer-term African led intervention force authorised by UN Security Council Resolutions last year.
Mark Simmonds also noted that there were ongoing discussions on providing training for the Malian Army through a European Union training mission. This was most recently discussed at the European Council in December. He said that the UK would continue to work with international partners to encourage progress on an inclusive political process in Mali which would be important for long-term stability.
[h=2]Further information[/h] Statement on UK assistance to the French Mali operation
United Nations Security Council Press Statement on Mali, 10 January 2013
United Nations Security Council Resolution 2085 on Mali, 20 December 2012
United Nations Security Council Resolution 2071 on Mali and the Sahel, 10 October 2012

When are the French going to admit that they need heavy lift, jet transports if they want to intervene far from Metropolitan France?

Seem to remember when 2REP jumped at Kolwezi, Zaire, in May '78, they did so from MAC C-141A Starlifters as the Transals didn't have the legs for it. Galic pride denied them C-130s in favour of the smaller, shorter ranged C-160 and now, with A-400M still some time from Squadron service they have to 'borrow' C-17s from Les Ros Bifs. That's got to smart a bit, especially as they still see themselves as the Gendarmes of their former possessions.

Perhaps a UOR for a slack handfull of '17s whilst they wait for the 400s would be in order? I'm sure Uncle Sam would say yes; they need to keep the line open and if they are willing to sell to India, then France would be a dead cert, even if it were only a short-term lease.

They French have become a little more flexible of late, buying E-2s for the CdG carrier and finally adopting STANAG mags for thier service rifle...

Good new is we might be able to borrow CdG for the South Atlantic!

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