A U.K. Royal Air Force C-17 Globemaster made the first direct to Gao Mali on a mission to resupply the British forces.
According to RAF, the transport aircraft from 99 Squadron flew from RAF Brize Norton on October 6, and made the first direct flight to resupply the United Kingdom’s Operation Newcombe.
The RAF has previously made the supplies, first to Niger and then flown to Gao. The RAF will now supply the detachment with monthly direct flights.
The U.K. has provided regular use of a C-17 transport aircraft for France’s operations in the Sahel since 2016.
At least three RAF Chinook heavy lift helicopters have been deployed in Gao and have since August reinforced the French Operation Barkhane counter-terrorism mission in Mali.
The U.K. has stressed that British military forces will not be involved in combat operations.