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Zouerate 1978: Supporting Air Operations, an Army Team Amidst France's African Strategy.
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
Pagination or Media Count:
In 1975, Morocco and Mauritania shared between them the territory of the former Spanish Western Sahara. A liberation movement supported by Algeria, the Polisario Front, opposed this situation and launched devastating raids, mainly into Mauritania. To help this country, in 1977-1978, France carried out operation Lamantin. It consisted of surveillance and attack aircraft stationed in Senegal, and small Army teams deployed in Mauritanian garrisons. Zouerate, a small Northern town where a very important iron ore mine produced 16 of the countrys GNP, had been the target of two attacks before the French team came. The missions of these eight paratroopers, quite similar to some of the US Special Forces, were to comfort the European technicians, assess the situation, advise the Mauritanians, prepare the air strikes, and secure a possible downed aircraft.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE