Jan 19, 2014
No end in sight for 1-year-old US Air Force mission over Mali
The yearlong U.S. Air Force operation over Mali in support of the French mission there is set to continue for the immediate future.
January marks the one-year anniversary of the U.S. mission over the West African nation. While the Pentagon does not expect it to go on indefinitely, no end date has been set.
Although Mali has regained some stability, holding elections for a new government since French forces intervened to halt the advance of al-Qaeda-linked militants, the French continue to deploy a military contingent there.
French President wants to cut the French presence considerably in the near future and hand over security responsibility to African Union and U.N. forces. Paris plans to reduce the number of its troops in Mali to 1,600 next month, down from the 2,500 now serving there.
351st Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, which runs the refueling missions out of Moron, Spain, continues flying almost every day to fuel French aircraft, but that the pace of operations has decreased.