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Netherlands resumes Mali operations with C-130 deployment

19th October 2021 - 18:54 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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A C-130 Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron approaches at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Aug. 24, 2017. (Photo: US Air Force)

The Netherlands has committed to deploying a C-130 Hercules aircraft to aid the UN mission in Mali.

The Dutch government has decided to deploy a C-130H Hercules transport aircraft, including crew and support personnel, to Mali in November 2021.

A single Hercules will be deployed there for six months as a contribution to the UN mission Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

MINUSMA was established in 2013 to support the stabilisation of the country, the implementation of the transitional roadmap and to ensure the security and protection of civilians.

The aircraft will be used to transport and drop personnel and cargo and for evacuation situations.

It will operate out from Bamako in the south of Mali and will provide the crucial ability to enable operations in the north of the country.

The sparsely populated north of the country poses challenges to movement over land due to the lack of infrastructure, presence of hostile forces and the vast desert terrain.

C-130E/H Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. It first entered service in 1962.

According to Shephard Defence Insight, over 55 national militaries are confirmed to operate the aircraft.

The UK’s recent choice to retire the aircraft has caused questions over whether there will be a major capability gap as a result.

This news follows from the announcement in 2018, that the Netherlands would end its troop contribution in Mali to focus on the Afghanistan conflict.

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