via Stop NATO
U.S. Air Forces in Europe
January 25, 2013
U.S. planes deliver French troops to Mali
By Staff Sgt. Nathanael Callon
USAFE – AFAFRICA Public Affairs
ISTRES, France: The U.S. Air Force delivered on its promise to Paris
by delivering French troops via airlift to Bamako, Mali, Jan. 21.
The first C-17 Globemaster III from Dover Air Force Base, Del., took
off from here and landed in Bamako Monday afternoon and delivered more
than 80,000 pounds of equipment and dozens of French soldiers.
France deployed its armed forces to the African country on Jan. 11,
and requested assistance from other countries to transport armored
regiments and troops…
In response to requested logistical support from the French, the U.S.
deployed Airmen from the 621st Contingency Response Wing from Joint
Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., and multiple C-17 aircrews to the
southern town of Istres, France, where there is a French air base.
The 621st has a unique capability, in that they are able to deploy,
open an airfield, and establish, sustain and manage air mobility
operations from that area. In this case, the planners are here to
coordinate air support for the French military movements and load the
U.S. Air Force cargo aircraft.
U.S. Air Force Maj. David Gaulin, a contingency response element
commander from the 621st, was one of the first on the ground to assess
the airfield and determine requirements for operating out of Istres.
“We were able to show up here, set up communications with the United
States and provided an initial assessment of what capabilities the
French had and what capabilities we could bring to the operation within
an hour of landing,” said Gaulin.
Since beginning the air transportation missions from France to
Bamako, the French and American military work closely together to
prepare and load equipment on the C-17s.
The cargo and equipment is prepared by the French and then the load
plans are given to the U.S. aircraft commander for review, said French
air force Maj. Eric Chabaud, who is the chief of aircraft services in
The Airmen here will continue to support the French in the upcoming
days, and continue to rely on the partnership that exists between France
and the U.S.