January 18, 2014 (by Lieven Dewitte) - A Belgian Air Force C-130 (#71-1803) in service with 15th Air Transport Wing has left Melsbroek Military Airport for the Gabonese capital Libreville to offer air support to the French intervention force in the Central African Republic.
16 Belgian military personnel were aboard what is the first of two C130s that will be sent to help the French operation named Sangari. The second C-130 will leave later with a load of maintenance material.
The Belgian participation in the operation in the Central African Republic (CAR) falls within a European framework and a mandate from the UN, formal decision on which will be taken next week. Together with the African peace-keeping force, the French will try and restore order to a country that has been plunged into chaos after a bloody sectarian war in recent months.
The C-130 are based in the capital of the Central African Republic Bangui and are used for internal flights and flights to countries that border the Central African Republic. An Airbus A330 is used for strategic flights between France and the Central African Republic.