Library photo of RAF Chinooks operating in Mali on Op Barkhane CROPPED DATE UPLOADED 270721 CREDIT RAF

RAF Supports Recovery Operations After French Fighter Jet Crash In Mali

The RAF Chinooks helped carry French personnel to the scene of the crash near Hombori.

Library photo of RAF Chinooks operating in Mali on Op Barkhane CROPPED DATE UPLOADED 270721 CREDIT RAF

The Royal Air Force has supported recovery operations after a French fighter jet crashed in Mali. 

Chinook helicopters, deployed to the east African country in support of the French-led counter-terrorism mission Op Barkhane, helped transport French personnel to the crash site.

Technical damage to the French Mirage 2000 jet caused the crew to eject.

The aircrew were successfully recovered with one suffering minor injuries, the Royal Air Force said.

RAF Squadron Leader Charlie Brown, Officer Commanding 1310 Flight in Mali, said his team were able to respond "quickly and effectively" in support of the recovery operation.

"This was an outstanding performance from all involved and yet again demonstrated the excellent interoperability we have developed with our French counterparts here in Mali."

Sixty French troops were taken by the RAF to the crash site, south of Hombori, central Mali, to secure the area.

File photo of an RAF Chinook deployed in support of Op Barkhane (Picture: RAF).

The Chinooks then lifted a French Accident Investigation and an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team to the incident.

They were escorted by French Tiger attack helicopters. 

The Chinooks are based in Gao, east Mali, and provide a heavy-lift combat support role to the French-led counter-terrorism operation which is run across the Sahel region of west Africa. 

French President Emmanuel Macron recently announced Op Barkhane would come to an end and be replaced with a wider international effort in the region.

Mali has stood on the brink of chaos in recent times, including a coup that overthrew its president and prime minister, plus continued struggles against Islamic extremism.

The aircrew for 1310 Flight is currently provided by 18 (Bomber) Squadron based at RAF Odiham in Hampshire, supported by personnel from across the RAF, British Army and Royal Navy drawn from Joint Helicopter Command. 

CH47 on Op NEWCOMBE Mali RAF Chinooks recorded 3000 operational flight hours 30032021 CREDIT MOD.jpg
Library photo of an RAF Chinook flying in Mali (Picture: MOD).

The Chinooks, also from Joint Helicopter Command, first arrived in west Africa for Op Barkhane in July 2018.

Since then, they've moved more than 1,500 tonnes of freight, 18,000 troops and recently marked the milestone of 3,000 flying hours

In 2019, an RAF Chinook was involved in the response effort after 13 French soldiers died in Mali following a mid-air collision between two helicopters. 

British Army troops are also deployed to Mali on the separate UN MINUSMA (Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali) – the 18,000-strong peacekeeping mission established in 2013.

Cover image: Library photo of RAF Chinooks in Mali (Picture: RAF).