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

Mission update

As announced June 14, 2019 by the Government of Canada.


In anticipation of the arrival in Mali of a Romanian helicopter rotation this year, Canada has confirmed that the Air Task Force (ATF) will begin its gradual departure at the end of July and its operations will be gradually scaled down and limited to medical evacuation tasks until August 31, 2019.


This phased approach will ensure a smooth and efficient transition process between the Canadian and Romanian rotations. A small CAF transition team will be deployed to assist Romania in its preparations to commence operations, and Canada has offered to provide four C-17 aircraft flights to assist Romania to deploy their personnel and equipment to theatre. This approach will minimize disruption in the availability of critical capabilities to MINUSMA forces and help set up the Romanian rotation for operational success.

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.

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