The helicopters will travel by sea to Kuwait, from where they will be transported by road to Besmayah
The Spanish Army has agreed to the US request to send transport helicopters Chinook and Cougar to the mission to combat the Islamic State in Iraq. The units of the FAMET will travel by sea to Kuwait on board the vessel Juan Carlos I.
It will be, according to sources from the Navy, the most important mission – and the farthest – that Juan Carlos I, the largest ship in the Spanish navy, has undertaken so far. The next month of May is scheduled, confirm military sources, to depart from Spain with five transport helicopters of the Aeromobile Forces of the Army(FAMET).
The vessel will sail the Mediterranean and cross the Suez Canal and the dangerous Bab al-Mandab Strait, where the Navy has kept a security alarm active in recent years due to attacks on ships by Houthi rebels.
Its final destination will be, predictably, the port of Shuaiba, 45 kilometres from the city of Kuwait. There, the United States has deployed a logistics base where a good part of the military material used in Iraq arrives.
According to the consulted voices, the helicopters are most likely to be transported by gondola trucks from the United States to the Besmayah base, where the bulk of the Spanish operations in Iraq are located.
The mission of these aircraft will be to transport material and personnel between Besmayah and other nerve centres of the international military mission in Iraq.
Initially, military sources explain, the possibility of sending helicopters by air was considered, resorting to the hiring of an Antonov cargo plane, but finally, the sea route and the use of the Spanish Navy’s own means were chosen.
Source: El Confidencial Digital