Mali: 1,000 flight hours for the Har­fang de­tach­ment


Dur­ing the night of March 15-16, 2013, the Har­fang de­tach­ment flew its 1000th flight hour in sup­port of Op­er­a­tion Ser­val. De­ployed since Jan­uary 17 in sup­port of the French op­er­a­tions in Mali, the Har­fang de­tach­ment of Drone Squadron 1/33 “Belfort” logged over one thou­sand flight hours, by day and night, in less than two months.

The Har­fang drone ac­com­pa­nied the French forces who lib­er­ated Douentza and sup­ported spe­cial forces op­er­a­tions as well as air­borne troops over Tim­buktu. It pro­vided a de­ci­sive con­tri­bu­tion to the troops en­gaged in the re­con­quest of north­ern Mali, in the Adrar des Ifoghas moun­tains.

Mak­ing a sub­stan­tial con­tri­bu­tion to the col­lec­tion of in­for­ma­tion in the­atre through its sen­sors and its per­sis­tence in the area, Har­fang also used its de­tec­tion ca­pa­bil­i­ties to help the air­craft of the French air force and Marine Na­tionale to ac­quire and en­gage en­emy tar­gets.

Thanks notably to its on­board laser il­lu­mi­na­tor, drone crews also guided pre­ci­sion bombs fired by other vec­tors to their tar­get. Thus in 1,000 fly­ing hours, the Har­fang de­tach­ment was en­gaged in all phases of op­er­a­tion Ser­val, and through­out the en­tire op­er­a­tional the­atre. In over fifty sor­ties, it cov­ered a broad spec­trum of op­er­a­tional mis­sions, and thus contributed sig­nif­i­cantly to the tac­ti­cal success of op­er­a­tion Ser­val.

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