- Title: FRANCE: Canadian and U.S. Air Force cargo planes take off from France for Mali
- Date: 22nd January 2013
- Summary: ISTRES, FRANCE (JANUARY 22, 2013) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF C-17 CARGO AIRCRAFT ON TARMAC VARIOUS OF FRENCH ARMY VEHICLES INSIDE CARGO PLANE CANADA AIR FORCE PERSONNEL TALKING TOGETHER CANADA FLAG FRENCH ARMY VEHICLES (SOUNDBITE) (English) PILOT OF THE C-17 CARGO PLANE WHO ASKED TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS, SAYING: "Canada has interest in Western Africa and even at this moment there are training missions where there are Canadian soldiers taking part in Western Africa, but there will be no direct operations by Canadian troops this time. My mandate so far is just operational, logistics operations." VARIOUS OF CARGO ON BOARD C-17 (SOUNDBITE) (English) PILOT OF THE C-17 CARGO PLANE WHO ASKED TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS, SAYING: "Canada was lucky enough to acquire these strategic air platforms and we're more than happy to come to the help of France and I understand that it will carry a lot more than say a Transall will and it has the legs to fly the run between Mali and here in a single crew day." DETAIL OF C-17 TAIL CANADIAN C-17 ON TARMAC CANADIAN C-17 TAKING OFF ISTRES BASE U.S. AIR FORCE C-17 PARKED ON TARMAC
- Embargoed: 6th February 2013 12:00
- Location: France
- Country: France
- Topics: Transport
- Reuters ID: LVABBB76MF58H76HBJKFY15MFJT4
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Canadian and U.S. C-17 cargo aircrafts took off from the south of France on Tuesday (January 22) for the Mali capital of Bamako as part of Canada's contribution to the French-led military operation against Islamist rebels.
Canada's contribution to the campaign so far limits itself to logistical support flying cargo of French troops and equipment to Mali.
"There will be no direct operations by Canadian troops this time. My mandate so far is just operational, logistics operations," a Canadian pilot, who couldn't be named, told Reuters Television before taking off for Bamako.
He added he was expecting to carry a lot more to Mali as the C-17 can do the trip between the Istres base and Mali in a single crew day.
The U.S. also confirmed they were helping France in a similar way to Canada with logistical support.
Benjamin Benson, spokesman for AFRICOM (the United States Africa Command), told Reuters on Tuesday C-17 flights to Mali had started on Monday with two flights taking off on Tuesday morning and with more flights planned in the next few days.
Canada's appetite for military intervention is low following a five-year mission to Afghanistan, which ended in 2011 after 158 soldiers were killed.
Britain has made available two C-17 transport planes which will ferry French medical gear, tanks and other equipment to Mali this week.
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