Mont-de-Marsan AFB hosts Indo-French exercise Garuda VI

Garuda Mont Marsan France India
Indian Su-30 fighters receive gas during their route to reach Mont-de-Marsan AFB, France.

As part of the French relationship with the Indo-Pacific region, the Garuda exercise is taking place at the Air Base 118 in Mont-de-Marsan, France. It started on July 1 and will run until July 12. This bilateral Franco-Indian tactical aerial exercise aims to improve interoperability between French and Indian crews in air defense and ground attack missions. It takes place alternatively in France and India and is part of a global cooperation process.

The Garuda 2019 includes a large number of French Air Force aircraft such as Rafale, Alphajet, Mirage 2000, C135, E3F, C130 and Casa 235 as well as Indian aircraft. The Indian planes (four SU-30s, two C-17s and an Ilyushin IL-78) landed at Mont-de-Marsan on Friday 28 June.

The four SU-30 MKIs come from the 24th Squadron "Hunting Hawks" at Bareilly Air Force Station (AFS), while the IL-78 belongs to the 78th squadron "Battle-Cry" at Agra AFS and the two C-17s come from the 81st squadron "Sky Lords" based at Hindan AFS. 

They took off from India on June 26 and after a stopover in the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, they were refueled on the last stretch of their route by a French C135 tanker over the Med.

Two SU-30s also participated in the Meeting de l'Air in Cazaux last weekend.

Garuda will be open to the French and foreign media on Wednesday 10 July 2019.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Source, Images: French Air Force

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