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 flight generally requires an aircrew including support personnel to operate and load/unload the aircraft, usually a CC-177 Globemaster III, but occasionally a CC-130J Hercules.

What are they doing?

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

History and context of the operation

To date, the RCAF has flown 30 flights on Op FREQUENCE since 2018, transporting more than 1.9 million lbs of cargo.

Recent CAF support includes:

  • 2023: 4 flights; approximately 53k lbs cargo
  • 2022: 6 flights; approximately 303k lbs cargo
  • 2021: 7 flights; approximately 771k lbs cargo
  • 2020: 4 flights; approximately 190k lbs cargo
  • 2019: 6 flights; approximately 400k lbs cargo
  • 2018: 3 flights; approximately 240k lbs cargo

The French Armed Forces’ Operation BARKHANE began in August 2014, and officially ended in November 2022. Op BARKHANE was a French counterinsurgency operation in the Sahel region. It followed 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 militants

The CAF continues to support the French Armed Forces in the region with strategic and tactical airlift of personnel and equipment through Operation FREQUENCE.

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