By Tan Bo and Fei Xiaoxi
Rwandan peacekeepers board a Chinese peacekeeping helicopter. (mod.gov.cn/Photo by Fei Xiaoxi)
ELFASHER, SUDAN, Jan. 29 (ChinaMil) -- China's 2nd peacekeeping helicopter detachment to Darfur, Sudan successfully completed the transport mission for the Rwandan peacekeeping infantry battalion who was rotating its troops in Darfur, on January 24, 2019, local time. The transport mission lasted for 20 days, and the Chinese peacekeeping helicopter detachment made 70 sorties with 107 flight hours to transport 595 personnel and 24.3 tons of materials.
Recently, based on new changes in the security situation in Darfur, Sudan, the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) launched a new round of rotation for the Rwandan peacekeeping infantry battalion. China’s peacekeeping helicopter detachment was ordered to carry out the transport mission.
After receiving the order in early January, considering the harsh conditions of the Darfur peacekeeping mission zone that feature high temperatures, frequent sandstorms, and lack of ground landmarks, navigation service and ground commanding, the Chinese helicopter detachment organized pilots to mark coordinates of important locations such as turning points and entry points on the map, so as to make adequate technical preparation for the mission.
According to the head of the detachment, the Rwandan peacekeeping infantry battalion quickened its pace of rotation since January 10, and the transport mission entered a peak period.
This required the Chinese detachment to accelerate its pace of transportation. Three aircrews of the detachment undertook the regular mission of personnel and materials transport, while another aircrew served as an all-weather medical backup.
From 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on January 17, the detachment sent three aircrews to make six sorties to transport 100 personnel and 3,165 kilograms of materials, creating a record of daily transport volume.
After 20 days of painstaking efforts, China's peacekeeping helicopter detachment to Darfur successfully accomplished the transport of troops and equipment of the rotating Rwandan peacekeeping infantry battalion, for which it earned high praise from the UNAMID officials.