Skip navigation

Next infantry group to rotate in Mali is ready for a foreign operation

This week, more than two months long pre-operation training of the infantry platoon BKN-11 Estpla came to an end, in preparation for a service in Mali starting from December with a French unit serving as part of the Allied Battlegroup in Tapa.

“Training has given soldiers the opportunity to identify with the area of operation in Mali, which has given the whole unit a broader understanding of the challenges and expectations ahead. During the training, we have overcome our weaknesses and the final exercise went very well for us,” said First Lieutenant Mihkel Tamm, BKN-11 Estpla platoon commander.

The final exercise Sleipnir-11 was to practice the most common tasks and situations that await the unit in the area – base protection, conducting patrols and participating in the rapid reaction unit.

“The training of the mission team has been carried out by Scout Battalion’s soldiers and officers, who have extensive experience in missions abroad and have been training for a long time,” said next Barkhane’s contingent commander Major Rauno Vahimets, adding: “final exercise here does not end the training, in the deployment area the skills and knowledge will be constantly updated”.

The BKN-11 Estpla is an infantry platoon that will replace the BKN-10 Estpla currently serving in Mali, which began its service at the Gao military base in August this year. The main area of activity for the Estonian contingent located in Gao base on the Niger River in Mali is the urban environment.

The tasks of the Estonians in Mali are military defence and joint patrols with units of the French Defence Forces, on the basis and composition of which the Estonian contingent operates.

The French counter-insurgency operation Barkhane aims to support the fight against Islamic extremists in five Sahel countries (Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad) and thus to contribute to the fight against illegal immigration and human trafficking towards Europe.

Scroll to top