British Air Force C-17 delivers more armoured trucks to French Army Central African Republic 1312132

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British Air Force delivers more equipment in Central African Republic

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Friday, December 13, 2013 09:25 AM
 
British Air Force C-17 delivers more armoured and trucks to French Army in Central African Republic.
The British RAF (Royal Air Force) has successfully delivered a second tranche of French military equipment to peacekeepers attempting to quell the bloodletting in the Central African Republic. A C-17 transport aircraft Wednesday delivered trucks and supplies to the airport at Bangui, the capital of the troubled state where a descent into sectarian violence has prompted the UN to sanction international intervention.
     

A French army truck Renault GBC 180 is unloaded from a British Air Force C-17 military transport aircraft.

     

The unloading operation was watched by thousands of refugees who formed a human wall beyond the razor wire strung around the aircraft unloading area. As a ring of wary French troops and RAF police stood guard the crowds looked on as the huge jet was emptied.

RAF Police Flight Sergeant John Cookson said: “The crowds looked very peaceful but from a security point of view it was a situation that could change easily.” A section of gunners from 63 Squadron, RAF Regiment, was also on the flight.

The landing at Bangui was the end of a 3,500-mile journey for the C-17, which had picked up its cargo from Istres airbase near Marseilles after leaving RAF Brize Norton before dawn Wednesday.

The bulk of its cargo was taken up by two troop-carrying Renault GBC 180 trucks. On the first flight, last week, five armoured vehicles ­– four VBLs (le vehicule blinde leger) and a larger VAB (le vehicule de l’avant) – were delivered.

     

The British Royal Air Force has delivered more French armored vehicles to the Central African Republic in support of France's Sangaris operation.
     
This type of ability of the C-17 Globemaster, flown by 99 Squadron, makes it the perfect aircraft for this kind of strategic airlift, reaching anywhere in the world quickly to respond to any crisis.

The French operation in CAR (Central African Republic) is the second for its troops on the African continent this year. In January it pushed back Al Qaeda-linked insurgents in Mali, again with RAF logistical help. The RAF’s contribution to these French efforts is part of the Lancaster House 2010 security co-operation treaty signed between the two nations.

The French army entered CAR following a UN resolution and is there to support an African Union (AU) peacekeeping force which will be transported into the country from neighbouring Burundi by the US Air Force.

CAR, a former French colony, descended into chaos after mainly Muslim rebels seized power in March, leading to tit-for-tat sectarian violence with the Christian majority.

The French leader President Hollande paid a flying visit to the country yesterday on his return from Nelson Mandela’s funeral in South Africa. He said that by the end of Saturday 1,600 troops would be on the ground to help an eventual total of 6,000 AU troops.

 

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