By Guy Martin
The French Air Force has sent two Dassault Rafale fighter jets to the island of Reunion for training.
The aircraft landed at Gillot Air Force Base on 14 January after a 13 hour flight.
They were accompanied by a C-135FR aerial refueling tanker.
They were due to be joined by an Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft in its first visit to Reunion.
The MRTT is replacing the C-135FRs in service with the French Air Force and the arrival and training around Reunion is part of this process. Training was due to last for a week and also include monitoring French territories in the Indian Ocean in support of FAZSOI, the French military presence in the region.
Rafales have previously been deployed to Reunion – the type landed on the island for the first time on 22 April 2014, again accompanied by a C-135FR tanker.
They were refueled five times in their journey from France.
This article was first published by defenceWeb on January 17, 2019.