Opération “Barkhane”

Joseph Cosgrove

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I saw this on last night's French news. basically it was during an operation last year, which until now has been kept as a Secret Défense*. It shows a group of French SF coming up against 10s of bad guys, jihadists. The Gazelle helicopter is hit by machine gun fire. A Tiger helico goes in to get them out. The bad guys are literally only a couple of minutes away. They have to fly out the two pilots and the sniper on the “running boards” on the outside of the helico which had never been done before with a Tiger.

*hasard du calendrier or a political bluff by Manu? I mean come on a couple of days before the 14th July and this operation is suddenly declassified. The three of them will be taking part in the Bastille Day ceremony.

What does Dusa think? :unsure:
 

Rapace

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(...) *hasard du calendrier or a political bluff by Manu? I mean come on a couple of days before the 14th July and this operation is suddenly declassified. The three of them will be taking part in the Bastille Day ceremony. (...)
The French version of “Black Hawk Down”. At a smaller scale, but with a happier ending. Certainly not a coincidence if the Secret Défense is lifted today but not a “bluff” either. It's basic political communication aka Public Relations... or propaganda in some countries.
Personnel on the ground and the sniper on board the Gazelle helicopter that was downed belong to the Groupement de Commandos de Montagne, the special operations component of the 27e BIM (Brigade d'Infanterie de Montagne, Mountain Infranty Brigade). The colonel interviewed and the pilots belong to ALAT (Aviation Légère de l'Armée de Terre, Army Light Aviation).
 
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https://www.defense.gouv.fr/operations/barkhane/breves/barkhane-les-capitaines-des-maillons-essentiels-dans-les-operations-de-lutte-contre-les-groupes-armes-terroristes

I copied and pasted the article in above link.

Needless to say, they may not be getting contact every single day but they are not just wandering around in the desert aimlessly.

BARKHANE: Captains, essential links in operations against armed terrorist group

Updated
07/22/2020
Engaged with their men and as close as possible to the fighting, the captains commanding Barkhane's tactical units are at the heart of all operations. Meeting with Captain Aymeric, commander of one of the units of the “Centurion” Desert Battle Group (GTD), after 5 months of operations in Liptako.

Captain, you have been in combat for several months alongside the partner armed forces. How do you see this combat partnership?
The particularity of our mandate is that my squadron and its reinforcements were appointed to reinforce Barkhane in January 2020, following the Pau summit and the announcement by the President of the Republic to send several hundred additional soldiers to the theater. My unit received, among other things, the mission of accompanying soldiers of the Niger Armed Forces (in French Forces Armées Nigériennes, FAN) into combat. For this, it was twinned with the 114 th Special Intervention Company (CSI). We were therefore at the very heart of the combat partnership that Barkhane has been developing for many months.

Could you come back more concretely to how you experience this partnership on a daily basis in operations?
As part of this twinning, my squadron carried out two major operations with the Nigerien partner but we also worked with other Nigerien and Malian units. When we were with the 114 th CSI, each section operated in tandem with one of my platoons. They constituted, as General Facon is wont to say, " the thickness of the force ". That is to say that, thanks to them, the volume of my squadron was almost doubled. We therefore occupied more space in the face of armed terrorist groups. Moreover, these Nigerien soldiers know the terrain, the population and the enemy perfectly well, which brings essential added value to our operations. In return, we provided our maneuver capabilities, made possible in particular by our modern means of communication, offering real fluidity to maneuver. We also sought to make them progress in the capacity to design global maneuvers, long and far from their usual bases of life.

Engaged under fire alongside partner forces, particularly Nigerien, what do you retain from this unique experience?
Our partners have made enormous progress in recent years, as I have seen during the three deployments that I have been able to carry out in the Sahelo-Saharan strip. It has been a real pleasure to work together with the FANs. Despite our differences in culture and life, we have some common points that were revealed in these missions. I will mention in particular the combativeness in the contacts and the hardiness which made it possible to hold out so long on the ground despite difficult conditions. They are warriors and they were happy to be with us. As for us, that gave meaning to our action because they told us about the battles of the last months, in particular the loss of 200 comrades, some of whom, inevitably, were their friends.

If we had to retain three outstanding actions of your mandate, which would they be?
First of all and to stay chronological, March 6, 2020, the day of our first contact during which we neutralized a member of the GAT. Beyond this “tactical victory”, I remember that we maneuvered for 36 hours with the 114 th CSI over a particularly large area. I realize here what I committed to a few years ago: to command in operation. Reading the pride in the eyes of the legionnaires at the end of the mission is worth all the fatigue and leaves me to think that I was not mistaken in vocation.
Then, May 4, 2020, is also a date forever engraved since, during one of our combat actions, we had to deplore the death of our comrade, the first class legionnaire Kévin Clément. It marks a unity, it marks a command. Nothing can compensate for this loss but the fight had been hard and the GAT had suffered heavy losses. Beyond the great difficulty of this ordeal, I was proud of my legionnaires who set out again the next day with anger but without hatred.
Finally, on May 17, 2020, during a meeting fight that ultimately lasted several hours, we seized a pick-up and a 12.7 mm caliber machine gun, several motorcycles and important equipment (explosives, weapons , ammunition,…). That day I had the honor of commanding an experienced unit, which maneuvers perfectly and responds to orders as expected. I was also proud to see the perfect mastery of fire in very difficult conditions.

What are the elements that allow you to say that this mission is a success?
It is a success because we are dealing hard blows against armed terrorist groups and we are restoring confidence to the FAN and the Malian armed forces (FAMa). It is a success because we are able to maneuver for a long time and everywhere, with numerous forces on the ground, which hit the enemy hard and push him to error, which allows our support to multiply our actions. The Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (EIGS) no longer has the same strike capacity as it did a few months ago and finds itself under pressure everywhere in the zone of action.
The return of the FAMa and the beginnings of the return of administration services to Labbézanga is a good illustration. A few weeks ago, we crossed a relatively empty town. Today, the population is back.

 

Rapace

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When Gen de Lattre de Tassigny arrived in Indochina in Dec 1950 to take command of the CEFEO (Corps Expéditionnaire Français en Extrême-Orient, French Expeditionary Corps in the Far East), he basically said “I'm here for the lieutenants and captains who bear most of the weight of war”. 70 years later, not much has changed.
 

Rapace

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I'm not to sure what you mean by that.
What Gen de Lattre meant I guess is your question, right (I'm quoting him)? Maybe something got lost in translation, but he basically meant that in this type of low intensity (“guerrilla”) conflict, small units officers (up and to and including company level) have greater responsibilities in the conduct of operations than in other form of conflicts. That's also what the article of the MinDef web site says, so 70 years after, the situation is pretty similar from that standpoint. Just making an historical parallel... With this statement, de Lattre also vowed to provide “lieutenants and captains” with all the support they needed to execute their mission, implicitly saying that it might not have been the priority of his predecessors.
 

mark wake

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What Gen de Lattre meant I guess is your question, right (I'm quoting him)? Maybe something got lost in translation, but he basically meant that in this type of low intensity (“guerrilla”) conflict, small units officers (up and to and including company level) have greater responsibilities in the conduct of operations than in other form of conflicts. That's also what the article of the MinDef web site says, so 70 years after, the situation is pretty similar from that standpoint. Just making an historical parallel... With this statement, de Lattre also vowed to provide “lieutenants and captains” with all the support they needed to execute their mission, implicitly saying that it might not have been the priority of his predecessors.
In my experience it always came down to the Sgt / caporaux when the sh*t hits the fan!
 

Perun

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To form a good fist, all fingers need to pitch in... Unless a poke in the eye can get the job done :).
 

Perun

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@Rapace ,

To form a good fist, all fingers need to pitch in... Unless a poke in eye can get the job done :).
Where did the “the”, between “in” and “eye” go? Thank you for your hard work.
 

Le petit caporal

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Am needing some help here, please, to the caring
Need a link posted
Source is : Medium.com
The title of the article is “From Salisbury Plain to the deserts of Mali”.
Ta in advance
L.P.C.
 
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