Operation PRESENCE - Mali

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is supporting the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). This is part of the Government of Canada’s overall efforts to help set conditions for durable peace, development, and prosperity in Mali.

Operation PRESENCE - Mali will be twelve months long. Follow the timeline of the mission here. The core mission is to provide MINUSMA with the 24/7 capability to medically evacuate UN forces by air. CAF members are also supporting MINUSMA headquarters. When possible, the CAF provides other services:

  • transport troops, equipment, and supplies
  • logistics support

CAF members have joined 56 MINUSMA partner countries in their efforts to bring sustainable peace and stability to Mali and the Sahel.

For a detailed look at Operation PRESENCE-Mali in action, visit our video gallery or follow us on Facebook and Twitter


On January 25, 2019, two Canadian CH-146 Griffon and one CH-147F Chinook helicopters serving with MINUSMA launched from Gao to Douentza in response to an attack on UN peacekeepers. Canadian peacekeepers provided advanced care to those injured in the attack.


No Canadians were injured. We extend our deepest condolences to the loved ones of those who tragically lost their lives in Mali.


On January 20, 2019, MINUSMA helicopters and crews from Canada responded immediately with aviation support to UN forces in Aguelhok, Mali, following a complex attack. Three CH-146 Griffon and two CH-147F Chinook helicopters were launched from Gao to Aguelhok where they evacuated 15 wounded soldiers. The helicopters also delivered water, food and ammunition to peacekeepers who remained in Aguelhok. 


Our thoughts are with the families of the fallen UN soldiers.  Our deployed contingent worked professionally through an extremely complex and demanding day, supporting one another and those who were the target of this extreme act of violence

How many people are deployed?

The Air Task Force is located in Gao, in northern Mali. It includes the following components:

Also, up to 10 CAF members work as staff officers at the MINUSMA headquarters in Bamako, Mali. 

What are they doing?

The CH-147F Chinook helicopters are available to conduct medical evacuations. They can also conduct other missions to support MINUSMA, such as:

  • transport troops, equipment, supplies, and food
  • help with the rapid deployment of UN forces in Mali

The CH-146 Griffon helicopters fly as armed escorts for the Chinooks. They could also carry out other critical missions for MINUSMA as required.

One of each type of helicopter is a spare. These spare aircraft will make sure that the CAF is always ready to support MINUSMA.

The headquarters staff officers support MINUSMA operations. They are not directly connected to the Canadian Air Task Force.

Mission update

As of February 11, 2019, Task Force Mali has conducted seven medical evacuation missions and flown more than 2,100 hours in support of MINUSMA. The CC-130J Hercules aircraft from the Tactical Airlift Detachment has flown more than 900 hours and has airlifted more than 1.65 million pounds of cargo, in support of Operation PRESENCE Mali.


The Tactical Airlift Detachment and Operational Support Hub in Dakar, Senegal, has been enabling Task Force Mali with tactical effects by supporting sustainment flights and air transport within the area of operation.

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