Armed UN Little Birds – A Big Deal in Mali
The West African country of Mali has become one of the deadliest United Nations peacekeeping efforts in the world. In May 2015, three MD500Es from the Air Force of El Salvador joined the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA) in Mali. These choppers have been used to fly armed patrols, provide overwatch for ground forces, and evacuate casualties for urgent medical care.
According to a recent article at The Drive:
Helicopters provide essential mobility to monitor the situation and critical support to counter militant attacks in a country with very limited road infrastructure. With their high speed and weaponry, the Little Birds are an ideal choice for racing ahead of convoys to spot ambushes and rushing to help beat back an attack already in progress.
Colonel Juan Ricardo Palacios Garay, who acted as the chief of staff for the initial contingent bound for Mali, said El Salvador’s mission was only supposed to last one year. However, he told Dialogo:
“But El Salvador is prepared to stay in Mali for five years, depending on the UN mandate.”
Read the full article at The Drive.
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