The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) provides strategic airlift support to transport French military equipment and personnel between France and the Sahel region of Africa.

The flights conducted during Operation FREQUENCE support international counterterrorism efforts in the region, thereby helping to strengthen regional and international security and stability.

This operation also strengthens the Canada-France partnership, and enhances interoperability between their armed forces.

CAF logistical support to French operations in West Africa was previously referred to as Strategic Airlift Support to France’s Operation BARKHANE.

Attention: Update

Currently the CAF is not conducting any activities under Operation FREQUENCE.

Contributing forces

Canada’s logistical support to France is being conducted by CC-177 Globemaster III strategic airlift aircraft from 8 Wing Trenton and associated Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) aircrew and support personnel. The personnel and equipment will not be stationed in the Sahel region.

Past activities

From November 20, 2016, until March 31, 2017, the CAF flew on four occasions between France and the Sahel region of Africa, delivering around 30,970 kilograms of cargo. The first flight occurred on November 20, 2016, the second on January 25, 2017, the third on February 12, 2017, and the fourth on February 22, 2017.

Mission context

French counter-terrorism operations in the Sahel region

The French Armed Forces’ Operation BARKHANE began in August 2014 and took over from Operation SERVAL, a joint combat operation alongside Malian government forces to protect Bamako, the capital, and re-take Malian territory that was held by the militants.

Operation BARKHANE is a reorganization of French military forces that are already present in the West African region. Throughout the operation, the French are deploying 3,500 personnel over five countries in the Sahel region which have organized under the name of the G5 Sahel: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

Previous contributions to French operations in Africa

From September 28 to December 31, 2015, the CAF conducted three strategic airlift flights from France to Niger, delivering around 79,700 kilograms of cargo. These flights were conducted in support of Operation Barkhane. The first flight occurred on September 28, the second on November 24, and the third on December 12, 2015.

From January 15 to March 31, 2013, the CAF provided continuous logistic air support to the Government of France in its military intervention in the West African nation of Mali. The French operation known as Operation SERVAL aimed to stop the advance of Islamic extremists linked to Al-Qaeda and take back lost territory. During the CAF support to Operation SERVAL, one RCAF CC-177 Globemaster III conducted 48 flights to transport around 1,618,600 kilograms of cargo.

External links

Government of France

International missions

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