More Salvadoran MD500E Guardiancillos arrive for MINUSMA mission

Additional MD500E Guardiancillo light attack helicopters of the Fuérza Aérea Salvadoreña (FAS, El Salvador Air Force) have arrived in Gao, Mali, for the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). They were airfreighted in on board an Il-76 transport, MINUSMA stated on December 12.

More Salvadoran MD500E Guardiancillos arrive for MINUSMA mission
One of the three FAS MD500s is unloaded from an Il-76 at Gao, Mali. (Photo by Kazakh MINUSMA)

A trio of FAS MD500Es has already been operating for MINUSMA since May 2015, when they were first deployed to Timbuktu. El Salvador announced last year a doubling of its helicopters operating in Mali to replace four German Army Tiger attack helicopters being withdrawn from MINUSMA operations – see El Salvador to increase MD500s on MINUSMA mission, August 2018, p19.

The MD500Es are all from the Prima Brigada Aérea (1st Air Brigade)/Escuadron de Helicópteros at Base

Aérea de Ilopango. The three already deployed to Mali (serials 48, 49 and 50) are operating with UN registrations UNO-087P, UNO-088P and UNO-089P and the later trio are expected to adopt UN registrations while operating for MINUSMA. All are painted overall white with UN titles.

Around seven or eight of the type are believed to remain in operational service with the FAS, meaning that almost all of its complement of MD500Es are operating in Mali.

Source: By Dave Allport / AirForces Monthly – February 2019

Antonio Gonzalez (Latin American ©XAirForces Editor from Mexico)

El Salvador Aviation News

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