From: National Defence

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) supports France under Operation FREQUENCE. Using military aircraft, the CAF moves French military equipment and personnel between France and the Sahel region of Africa.

The Operation FREQUENCE flights support global efforts in the region against terrorism. Doing so helps make the region more secure and stable. It also helps with security and stability across the globe.

This operation strengthens the Canada-France partnership. It also helps their armed forces to work better together.

The CAF has helped French missions in West Africa with military transport in the past. It was then called Strategic Airlift Support to France’s Operation BARKHANE.

How many people are deployed?

This operation is episodic, with CAF members participating in it at different points throughout the year.

Each iteration generally requires five people to load/unload and operate the aircraft, usually a CC-177 Globemaster III, but occasionally a CC-130J Hercules. Aircraft and crews are based at 8 Wing Trenton.

What are they doing?

Canadian aircrews transport French military equipment and personnel between France and the Sahel region of Africa on an episodic basis.

History and context of the operation

To date, the RCAF has flown 26 iterations of Op FREQUENCE since 2018, transporting more than 1.9 million lbs of cargo.

Recent CAF support includes:

  • 2022: 6 iterations; approximately 303k lbs cargo
  • 2021: 7 iterations; approximately 771k lbs cargo
  • 2020: 4 iterations; approximately 190k lbs cargo
  • 2019: 6 iterations; approximately 400k lbs cargo
  • 2018: 3 iterations; approximately 240k lbs cargo

The French Armed Forces’ Operation BARKHANE began in August 2014. It took over from the former French Operation SERVAL.

Operation SERVAL was a joint combat operation. French forces served alongside Malian government forces. The purpose was to:

  • protect Bamako, the capital
  • re-take Malian territory that was held by the militants

Operation BARKHANE is a regrouping of French military forces that are already in West Africa. 3,500 personnel are being sent into five countries in the Sahel region. These countries have formed a group called the “G5 Sahel”:

  • Burkina Faso
  • Chad
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Niger

Previous CAF support to French operations in Africa

The CAF delivered about 79,700 kilograms of cargo from France to Niger in 2015. The three flights were to support to Operation BARKHANE:

  • September 28, 2015
  • November 24, 2015
  • December 12, 2015

The CAF also supported France with airlifts in 2013. These took place from January 15 to March 31. A CC-177 Globemaster III aircraft carried about 1,618,600 kilograms of cargo on 48 flights. This was in support of Operation SERVAL.

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