Skip to main content

French Armed Forces in Guyana train in Colombia.

| 2020

From October 27 to November 4, 2020, the French Armed Forces stationed in Guyana (FAG, Forces Armées en Guyane) participated in the RELAMPAGO 5 air exercise in Colombia. Large-scale training deploying fighter and transport planes including a French CASA from Air Base (BA) 367, but also maneuver and assault helicopters.

Follow Air Recognition on Google News at this link

French armed forces in Guyana train in Colombia CASA CN-235 of Transport Squadron 68 (ET 68, Escadron de Transport 68) Antilles-Guyane (Picture source: French General Staff)

The Colombian Air Force and FAG exercise RELAMPAGO 5 is designed to train aircrews to conduct air operations as part of Combined Air Operation * (COMAO). COMAOs are large-scale operations using various and complementary air assets while respecting NATO standards.

For a week, in collaboration with a Colombian CASA, a French liaison officer of the FAG staff, a CASA crew from Transport Squadron (ET, Escadron de Transport) 68 Antilles-Guyane and a dispather of the 1st RTP (Régiment du Train Parachutiste) were in charge of conducting special operations.

The crews dropped 7 Colombian paratroopers and carried out 4 air deliveries, while being under the protection of Colombian Super Tucanos. Helicopters were no exception. The Colombian UH-60 Black Hawks and Bell 212s aimed to destroy sites of strategic interest and recover Allied troops deployed on the ground, particularly during a tactical recovery operation in combat search and rescue (CSAR) simulation.

This 5th edition of the RELAMPAGO exercise bears witness to the close relationship between France and Colombia. With 2,100 soldiers, the FAG carry out missions in support of state action and contribute to sovereignty missions. As such, they guarantee the protection of the national territory, and contribute to maintaining security in the Caribbean Single Permanent Area of Responsibility (ZRP, zone de responsabilité permanente), to the fight against illegal gold panning (Operation Harpie), to securing the space center in Guyana (Operation Titan), and the fight against illegal fishing. As part of their fisheries policing mission, the FAG guarantee France's sovereignty over the waters under its jurisdiction, meet the international commitments made by France in the field of preservation of fishery resources, and combat illegal maritime activities.

CASA CN-235 operating in French Guyana

Failing to have obtained the development, from 1987, of a military version called ATM 42R of the ATR 42, the CN235-100 was chosen by the French Air Force (now Armée de l'Air et de l'Espace) in 1991. Purchased in 1991, the first 6 units were delivered in 1993, after two years of experimentation at the CEAM in Mont-de-Marsan, on Air Base 110 in Creil, within the Light Transport Squadron (ETL) 01/062 Vercors. In 2004, it was the turn of the West Indies to receive three Casa CN-235s, replacing the C-160 Transall. The planes carry out frequent detachments in Guyana, where they take part in Operation Harpie in the fight against illegal gold washing, this since 2008. At the same time, they are used as patrollers in the fight against drug trafficking in the Caribbean Sea. Since 2010, the CASAs have been transferred from the West Indies to Cayenne Rochambeau Air Base 367 in Guyana.

* Multinational headquarters for the tactical and operational control of the air forces.

Copyright © 2019 - 2024 Army Recognition | Webdesign by Zzam