First materiel transport from Mali has arrived in Sweden

The Mali 17 unit is working hard to decommission the Swedish contribution to the UN mission Minusma.

C17 Aircraft
C17 Aircraft
Mali 17 is working hard to decommission the Swedish operation in Mali. Here materiel is loaded onto the C17 aircraft. Photo: Jonas Bäsk/Swedish Armed Forces
Two Swedish soldiers surveilling a transport
Mali 17 is also responsible for protection and surveillance during the loading of the aircraft. Photo: Jonas Bäsk/Swedish Armed Forces

The Mali force, Mali 17, has been in the area of operation for more than a month and has now conducted the first air transport to Sweden. Swedish personnel are working in the town of Gao as well as in the capital Bamako. The Mali 17 unit comprises logistical staff that assists in purchasing, travels and management of goods. There is also a security group in charge of protecting the Swedish base camp Midgard, as well as transports to and from the airport.

"The work in Gao and Bamako is progressing according to plan, the decommissioning has now entered the phase where we repatriate materiel on C17 aircraft. It is challenging to carry out the dismantling work and to plan for all possible scenarios that may occur in this dynamic environment", says Major Martin Pamelius, CoS of the Mali 17 unit.

In the coming weeks, the unit will continue to clean, pack and load. The materiel sent home comprises i.a. medical and it equipment. The unit is also destroying ammunition and dismantling masts and certain buildings.

"We are now getting ready to decommission our support systems, which means that we need to start leading with pen and paper instead of with computers and radio equipment", says Martin Pamelius.

As the camp is closing down it is important to ensure that the unit is well protected, therefore the unit exercises at the camp, as well as patrols the immediate vicinity.

Sergeant Major Mats Norenborg is Head of the Decommission on site and says that the job will be finished at the end of April or early May.

"We are well in line with our plan for decommissioning. Last time I went home on leave I saw one of our RG-32M vehicles that had been brought back from Mali. It was really cool to see it back on Swedish ground", says Sergeant Major Mats Norenborg.