Mark Collins – Canadian UN Peacekeeping in Mali? RCAF Helicopters?

Further to these posts,

Netherlands and UN Peacekeeping (sort of) in Mali–Canada?

Canadian Government’s Peacekeeping Heart: With France in Africa it Seems

there’s a gap coming with which our air force might be suited to help:

Dutch helicopter withdrawal threatens to undermine UN Mali mission

The Netherlands plans to withdraw its helicopters from Mali at the beginning of 2017 due to the heavy strain the deployment had taken on its helicopter fleet, according to Dutch Ministry of Defence spokesman Colonel Jos van der Leij.

The Royal Netherlands Air Force has contributed four AH-64D Apache attack helicopters and three CH-47D Chinooks transport helicopters to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA [website here]) since 2014. They are currently deployed at the MINUSMA base in Gao…

The RCAF has (new) CH-147F Chinooks. And it’s CH-146 Griffon utility choppers, though not attack helicopters, could certainly provide fire support for today’s killer peacekeeping (more here–how off-putting might such a quasi-combat role be to our government?):

…the Griffon brings many other capabilities to the fight; capabilities that were demonstrated throughout the exercise, fulfilling both combined and joint requirements. From reconnaissance and surveillance using the MX-15 sensor, to specialised troop insertion via parachute, rappel, fast rope, or diver casting (where the helicopter flies in low over water, divers sit on the edge of the open door and jump in the water from the helicopter) to troop in-contact support (support of troops who are in contact i.e. engaged with the enemy) using Close Combat Attack (CCA) (a coordinated attack by armed aviation against targets that are in close proximity to friendly forces) with a multitude of weapons (C-6 7.62mm machine gun, M-134 Dillon 7.62mm 6-barrel gattling gun, or GAU-21 .50 Cal machine gun), the Griffon proved its value, contributing enormously to the success of the exercise…

As they did in Afghanistan:

The door gunner of the CH146 Griffon scans the environment as it flies over Kandahar city transporting personnel to Camp Nathan

By the way three CH-146s are now with the Canadian Forces in Kurdistan for the anti-ISIS mission.

Bet’s on what the government might do if it does choose Mali?

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds


3 thoughts on “Mark Collins – Canadian UN Peacekeeping in Mali? RCAF Helicopters?”

  1. More on the UN Mali mission from June–note “killer” aspect, 101 dead peacekeepers:

    ‘UN reinforces Mali mission with 2,500 more troops

    The UN Security Council has decided to increase the number of peacekeepers in Mali. The mission will help with a fragile peace process and counter-terrorism operations.

    The 15-member UN Security Council on Wednesday [June 29] voted unanimously to increase the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali by some 2,500 troops in a bid to bolster a fragile peace accord and counter Islamist militants.

    The French resolution will bring the international presence from 11,240 to 13,289 UN peacekeepers and also raise the number of police officers from 1,440 to 1,920 personnel.

    The resolution authorizes UN forces to “take all necessary means” to fulfill its mandate to support a peace accord in northern Mali that French Ambassador Francois Delattre said was “confronted with a resilient terrorist threat” from groups tied to Al-Qaeda and jihadists.

    He added “highly-specialized European contingents in terms of special forces, in terms of intelligence” will aid the mission. Germany is set to up its contingent to 650 troops to provide reconnaissance and transport planes…

    France also has a larger counterterrorism force in Mali and the Sahel composed of some 3,000 elite troops that can provide support to the UN mission.

    Al-Qaeda aligned groups, which are not a party to the peace accords, continue to carry out attacks on UN forces, making the mission the most dangerous for the blue helmets. According to the UN, 101 peacekeepers have been killed since the mission deployed…’

    Mark Collins

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