Estonian soldiers disembark off a RAF Chinook in Mali (Picture: MOD/Crown Copyright).
Africa

RAF Chinooks Exercise With Estonian Forces In Mali

Three RAF Chinooks are currently based in Mali in a non-combat role as part of Operation NEWCOMBE.

Estonian soldiers disembark off a RAF Chinook in Mali (Picture: MOD/Crown Copyright).

Estonian soldiers disembark off an RAF Chinook in Mali (Picture: MOD).

RAF Chinooks have been practising some of their skills alongside Estonian Army personnel in west Africa. 

Three Chinooks from 1310 Flight are currently based in Mali in a non-combat role as part of Operation NEWCOMBE, supporting French forces in confronting extremist groups in the region.

The exercise allowed soldiers from the Estonian Army Force Protection platoon based in Mali to board and exit the Chinook in operational conditions.

Three RAF Chinooks are currently based in Mali as part of Operation Newcombe (Picture: MOD/Crown Copyright).
Three RAF Chinooks are currently based in Mali as part of Operation Newcombe (Picture: MOD).

Flight Lieutenant Andy Donovan said the Estonians "seized the opportunity to board and disembark aggressively", adding they seemed to find the experience "very valuable".

The Estonian troops have been stationed at the Gao airfield, providing part of the guard force for the airfield and the Chinooks which fly from there.