Two Belgian Air Component NH90 helicopters have been airlifted to Mali to support the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced.
The 10-hour flight from the Brussels military airport of Melsbroek to Bamako on 5 February was conducted by an Antonov An-124-100 transport leased from Russian company Volga-Dnepr.
After reassembling the NH90s and test flights, a 50-strong Belgian contingent was scheduled to deploy to Gao, north-eastern Mali, on 9 February to prepare to operate the NH90s in the medical evacuation (medevac) role starting in March.
One Belgian and one German NH90 each conducted an exercise in Fassberg, northern Germany, earlier in February to prepare for joint operations in Mali.
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