1310 Flight Chinook aircraft have been conducting exercises with a Malian based Estonian Army detachment, say the RAF.

The Chinook helicopter detachment has been conducting an air mobility exercise with the Estonian Army Force Protection platoon that is based at Gao airfield and provides part of the guard force for the airfield, according to a release.

“The exercise gave the Estonians the opportunity to board and deplane from the Chinook in operational conditions and also experience a short flight in the aircraft.”

Welcoming the opportunity, the Estonian platoon commander said: “We aim to train as we would fight so this is an excellent opportunity to practice what we could be called upon to do.”

The Chinooks are in Mali with the primary purpose of transporting French personnel to the forward operating bases as the French military conduct a changeover of troops.

In addition, the heavy lift helicopters have been transporting supplies and equipment.