UK Military personnel deployed in West Africa meet French President Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron has recently met UK military personnel deployed in West Africa in support of the French counter-insurgency operations there.

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President Macron was meeting French personnel deployed in the region but was joined by British military personnel as well - led by the senior British officer, Lieutenant Colonel Huw Law Army Air Corps.  During the meeting Lieutenant Colonel Law was able to brief the President about the ongoing heavy lift helicopter support that the RAF are providing to French forces in Mali.

“We had the opportunity to speak at length with President Macron and gave him an update on the composition of UK forces supporting Op BARKHANE as well as our significant achievements- notably the level of integration that has been achieved between UK and French aviation.

“The briefing was well received and all members of the delegation, including the President, thanked us for our contribution, stating that the deployment of the CH47 force has been a huge success.”

Lieutenant Colonel Huw Law
Senior British officer

Following the briefing the UK personnel joined over a 1000 other military guests at an open-air dinner hosted by the President.  Lieutenant Colonel Law was seated at the President’s table and Flight Lieutenant Florrie Sweet, one of the deployed Chinook pilots, was seated with the French Chief of the Defence Staff.

“It was a fascinating trip; it opened my eyes to the wider context of UK Operations in West Africa and the role of Chinook operations in Mali.”

Flight Lieutenant Florrie Sweet
Chinook Pilot

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“This has been a wonderful opportunity. To be able to meet and personally brief President Macron is a great privilege.  This meeting highlights the importance he personally places on the UK’s contribution to French efforts in the Sahel, as well as the continued commitment of our nations to work together to enhance security in Europe and North Africa.”

Lieutenant Colonel Huw Law
Senior British officer

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