Text & Pictures: Serge Van Heertum © sbap 2014

Operation Sangaris is a French Army operation within the Central African Republic since December 05, 2013.

Following the military victory of Michel Djotodia against François Bozizé in March 2013 at the conclusion of the second Central African civil war, stability is still at stake.

Fights between self-defence militia (sometimes called anti-balakas, "antimachetes") and the Central African armed forces are increasing since October 2013 and the State appeared to not being able to restore order. The multinational force deployed by the Central African Economic Community to secure the region was largely overtopped by the events.

On December 05, 2013, with the resolution 2127, the safety council of the United Nations authorized the "deployment de la Mission Internationale de Soutien à la Centrafrique sous conduite Africaine (MISCA)" for a 12 month period. Officially to put an end to 'the total collapse of public order, the lack of a constitutional state and the interconfessional tensions'. The MISCA is supported by the French Forces, authorized to take “all the necessary measures”.
Before the launch of this operation, the French Minister of Defence had approached several European allies as well as the Americans to seek aerial logistical support (long-haul strategic transport or short distance tactical transport).
Very quickly the British announced their support to the operation with the provision of C-17 aircraft rotations. Germany followed with the provision of medical transport. Belgium decided on December 13, 2013 to provide its Airbus A-330 and a tactical transport with a C-130. Other countries were also approached: Spain, Poland as well as Holland.

On January 18, 2014, the first Belgian contingent departed for Central Africa. 35 military personal from the 15 Wing Transport, from the RAVAIR platoon and from the medical corps will be based at Libreville (Gabon). The C-130H will fly tactical transport missions for the French Army to Bangui, capital city of the Central African Republic.
It is also possible that Belgian military personal will be posted throughout other areas of the Republic, but at the time of writing these lines, no other precisions were known.
It was in presence of Pieter De Crem, Minsiter of Defence and General Claude Vande Voorde, Air Component Commander, that the first C-130H (CH07) left Melsbroek airbase at around 08
:00 soon followed by the second Hercules (CH05), bound for Malta-Luqa as first stop-over. Then onto Niamey (Niger) and finally to Libreville.
The mission is planned for a 2 month period, with possible re-conduction for an additional month.
Follow the operations bottom of page...


The geographical situation (AFP)


The French troops in the Central African Republic capital
(French Ministry of Defence)

Preparation of the needed border documents Minister of Defence was present for the departure

Material ready to be loaded

Some comforting and support words
Loading of the first aircraft is already ongoing A touchy operation...

CH07 and CH05 involved in Operation Sangaris
Loading of aircraft spare parts The CH05 being also prepared
More... ...and more material

Preparing the flight plan

Latching and spreading
With the presence of Mister Pieter de Crem MOD Loading of CH07 is completed
Few minutes before start up Melsbroek Duty Crew
Run up of the first C-130H Hercules
All is ready and OK Taxi to the holding point
Holding point 25 right Clearance and take off
One more operation of the 15th Transport Wing is launched
Malta-Luqa (LMML), Sunday January 19th (from our correspondant Neville Spiteri)
The CH07 at take off heading Niamey Followed by the CH05
A third aircraft CH08 arrived for technical stop en route for N'Damena (FTTJ)

January 20th: Installation and control of communication systems. Fully ready.

January 21st: First operational flight with cargo and troops. Libreville - Bangui - Libreville.

January 22nd: No flight, no French request

January 23rd: Libreville – Bangui –Libreville.
 

January 24th: No requested flight
 

January 25th: Libreville – Dakar (Night stop)
 

January 26th: Dakar – Libreville
 

January 27th: No requested flight
 

January 28th: Libreville – Bangui – Libreville
(30 min before landing at Bangui, the aircraft took the way back to Libreville due to anti-aircraft threats)
 

January 29th: Libreville – Bangui – Libreville
 

January 30th: Libreville - Bangui – Libreville
 

January 31st: No requested flight
 

February 1st: No requested flight
 

February 2nd: No requested flight
 

February 3rd: No requested flight
 

February 4th: Libreville - Douala - Bangui - N’Djamena
 

February 5th: N’Djamena - Niamey - N’Djamena


February 6th: N’Djamena - Libreville - Bangui - N’Djamena
 

February 7th: N’Djamena – Libreville
 

February 8th: Libreville - Bangui – Libreville
 

February 9th: No requested flight
 

February 10th: Libreville - Bangui – Libreville
 

February 11th: No requested flight
 

February 12th: Libreville - Abidjan - Ouagadougou – Bamako
 

February 13th: Bamako - N’Djamena
 

February 14th: N’Djamena - Bangui – Libreville
 

February 15th: No requested flight
 

February 16th: No requested flight
 

February 17th: No requested flight

February 18th: Libreville - Bangui – Libreville
Begin handover with the new personal batch

February 19th until 26th: No informations

February 27th: Libreville - Bangui – Libreville

February 28th: No requested flight

March 1st: No requested flight

March 2nd: No requested flight

March 3rd: Libreville - Bangui – Libreville

March 4th: No requested flight

March 5th: No requested flight

March 6th: Libreville - Bangui – Libreville

March 7th: No requested flight

March 8th: No requested flight

March 9th: No requested flight

March 10th: No requested flight

March 11th: Libreville - Bangui – Libreville

March 12th: No requested flight

March 13th until 19th: No informations

March 20th: Libreville - Bangui – Libreville

March 21th: Mission ended, aircraft back to Belgium

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