Forward-deployed so as to intervene as fast as possible against Daesch positions in Iraq and Syria, eight Mirage 2000D /N strike fighters were deployed from Dec 12, 2014 to 28 Aug, 2016.
Integrated into Operation Chammal, France’s contribution to Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), the Mirages flew 2,349 sorties and logged 10,810 flight hours. That means that, each and every day for 21 months, without interruption, three or four Mirage 2000s took off on a strike mission.
Such an intense and uninterrupted operational rhythm was only possible because of the concerted work of all of the personnel who strive, mostly away from the limelight, to allow the attainment of operational objectives.
-- Deployed technical personnel supported the operations by ensuring maintenance, mission preparation and general support of the aircraft, on relatively austere expeditionary bases and in a difficult environment that is particularly hostile to advanced systems;
-- Support units ensured refueling as well as resupply for water, food, supplies, munitions and spare parts;
-- In-flight support, including refueling.
Without the support of these ground personnel, who demonstrated great availability, dedication and performance, such long-term deployments would be impossible.
As conclusions are drawn on this intense 21-month deployment, the role of support personnel at all levels should not be overlooked.