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Mali Air Force

The Malian Air Force, " l'Arme de lAir du Mali", was created in 1976 - 16 years After the independence of the young Republic - with the Ordinance called Ordinance N 76-99 CML. But the origin of these air forces goes back further in time. When the Armed forces were born in 1960, they did not have air forces, nor were they Other similar capacity. However, they did not have to wait long for the need for such capacity to be felt.

The beginnings of the Malian Air Force are closely related to the beginnings of the Tuareg rebellions against the Malian state. A good reason To examine the two more closely. In 1963, a rebellion erupted in northern Mali. The "Alfellaga" Rebellion of the Tuareg progressed since Kidal. The causes of this rebellion were the result of the combination of conflicts Political and ethnic aspects to personal and cultural peculiarities in the own conception on both sides and are still of paramount importance in the context of the current conflict.

After the independence and establishment of the national States in 1960, the territory of the Tuareg was spread between several countries and their freedom of movement, which was essential according to their own conception as a nomadic people, was intensely limited. In addition, they had the feeling of being part of the new state, which was dominated by members of other ethnic groups. There was also a marriage law which was perceived as anti-slamic and incompatible with local customs, as well as other regulations adopted by Modibo Keita, compromising the way of life of Tuaregs.

However, what finally triggered the insurgency - according to the Tuareg tradition - is the assassination of Allaag Albachir by Moroccan Goumiers. While the murder had already been committed in 1954, Elledi ag Alla, the son of the prominent Tuareg rebel, only learned of it years later. His revenge culminated in the ephemeral insurrection of the Alfellaga. The response of the Malian Armed Forces, which included radical measures, provoked deep resentment among most of the population of the north. The story of the incessant revolt against foreign domination - after the first Rebellion in 1916 against the French colonial power - was linked to the Alfellaga, and in its turn still serves the Tuareg people to justify their efforts to get their independence.

Compared with the 2012 conflict, the Malian army was considerably better equipped than the rebels. Since a military success could not be achieved in the vast region, the army resorted to surveillance tasks and aimed to fight the rebels with isolated targeted attacks. In this context, General Abdoulaye Soumare, CEMGA and Commander of the intervention forces, requested the participation of the Light Aviation in the aforementioned operations.

The Malian Armed Forces did not however have any at their disposal. It was decided to requisition aircraft owned by the former national airline Socit Nationale Air Mali. Two Antonow An-2s and a Let L-200 Morova as well as the aircrew were made available to the operational Headquarters. Thus, from a civil society, was created the precursor of what would become "military aviation". In 1966, a small training attached to the 1st Company of Military Engineering, then the Tactical Air Group in 1968, which was in turn attached to the Special Units Battalion, and finally the Air Force in 1976.

At the time of the Cold War, the Air Force received the training equipment, primarily from the 'Soviet Union. In the 1970s and early 1980s, two AN-26s as well as 12 MIG-21MF fighters and two MIG 21UM training aircraft were acquired. In 1983, six Aero L-29 training jets were delivered to form a pilot school. In order to bring the act of creation of the Air Force into conformity with the legal provisions, a new Ordinance was drawn up and ratified in December 1999, providing the Air Force with the legal framework for its existence.

Order No. 99 048 / P-RM of 1 October 1999 establishing the Air Force, ratified by Law No. 99-053 of 28 December 1999 sets the missions of the Air Force which are :

  • Preserving the integrity of the national airspace helps protect the interests of our military, political and economic capacity. It requires an integration of alerting, control and interception systems to detect, identify, intercept and deduce enemy air forces attacking the interests of our nation. So, does it integrate aerial superiority? Whose objective is to obtain control of the air environment in other words achieve air supremacy.
  • Participation of the Air Force in the operational defense of the territory is essentially based on the prohibition of its airspace to enemy aircraft, the air support brings closer, the transport and the protection of the sensitive points. The prohibition involves combat operations whose objectives are to delay, disrupt, distract or destroy the enemy's military potential before it can be used effectively against friendly forces, that is, our own forces and forces. Allied. As for close air support, it consists of conducting combat operations with the objective of supporting friendly troops conducting land or water operations by attacking enemy forces near them. In the case of transport operations, they consist of deploying military forces or logistics by air.
  • Participation in the search and rescue of aircraft in distress in order to ensure rapid and effective assistance to persons and property victims of an aviation accident or a forced landing in the territory of the Republic of Mali. The General Staff of the Air Force ensures the conduct of these operations.
  • Participation in the economic, social and cultural development effort includes: The opening up of the country's interior and exterior; Locust and anti-bird control with specialized services; Participation in the program of rain (the teaching of clouds).
  • Participation in actions for peace and humanitarian assistance in the framework of the United Nations, the AU or ECOWAS.

In January 2016, the President of the Commission and Head of Defense Ibrahim Bo Keita announced the implementation of measures for a military investment plan of CFAF 1,230 billion. This plan was part of the "Military Orientation and Programming Law (LOPM)", which was approved in February 2015. The law provides for a modernization of the Malian armed forces (FAMa) and the commitment of 10,000 volunteers. This decision should increase the number of FAMa to 20,000 by 2019.

This ambitious plan provides for a structural reorganization of the Malian Air Force and the purchase of new aircraft. The need for air capability in support of the Malian land forces is of crucial importance. A large geographical gap separates the regiments in the north.

Without airlift for logistic supply and medical evacuation, these units may be quickly isolated in the event of a terrorist or more serious threat. In addition to seven small Tetra light aircraft, the Malian Air Force has an operational Basler BT-67 transport aircraft. Since 2016, as part of its investment plan, the country has been able to develop its airlift with the aid of a CASA C-295W cargo plane parked on the Snou Air Base 101. Two Harbin Y-12 Chinese transport aircraft were also delivered on September 20, 2017. The investment plan also focuses on the development of a rotary wing capability. Two Super Puma French helicopters were purchased for a total amount of $ 18 million. A contract with Russia has allowed the Malian Air Force to reinforce two Mi-35M helicopters delivered on September 21, 2017. Two more of these aircraft were expected to join theforce1.

Even more than this air transport capacity, the country needed a mobile entity to observe and control the central and northern airspace. Mali shares this priority with its partners in the G5 Sahel Joint Force. The investment plan provided for the purchase of six Brazilian Super Tucano, including two devices equipped with an optronic system. They can provide air support to the land forces. The lack of adequate infrastructure and however, a new aircraft maintenance capability appears to be the Achilles' heel of the multi-year restructuring plan for the Malian Air Force.

With the Malian military authorities, the EU MT Mali Advisory Task Force was working on a solution. The Mission's Education and Training Force organized the Tactical Air Guiding course. The CASA C-295-W Super Tucano Advanced (GATA) cargo aircraft for the Malian Air Force. In the near future, a rifle-commando course, called FUSCO, would also be offered at FAMa's request. This staff will ensure the protection and defense of Malian airbases, an operational combat tool essential to the success of FAM missions.

Mali will receive a second Airbus Defense and Space C295 transport aircraft to supplement the one that was delivered in late 2016, the Armed Forces of Mali (FAMa) has cited President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita as saying 05 October 2017. Keita said another two Mi-35Ms and four Embraer 314/A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft were expected to arrive in the near future, although no timeline was provided. Mali was negotiating for additional Airbus H215 Super Puma helicopters to supplement the two delivered in 2016.

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