Spain is a country that has offered its help to its allies in times of difficulty, and that creates strong ties between nations.
A few days ago, Slovenia suffered the biggest natural disaster in its history, with extreme flooding caused by torrential rains. In 24 hours, as much rain fell as in almost a month, causing extensive damage throughout the country. After the disaster, NATO allied countries have sent air and ground military means to Slovenia, an aid that has also been joined by Serbia, leaving behind the old enmities between the two countries.
Spain sent 20 soldiers and a Boeing CH-47F Chinook heavy transport helicopter from the Transport Helicopter Battalion V (BHELTRA V) of the Army Air Mobile Forces. The aircraft sent, the HT.17-21A / ET-421 (you can see it on these lines in a video published by Tomaž Jandrok), is one of the Spanish CH-47Ds that have already been upgraded to the Foxtrot version.
This is the first foreign mission of one of the FAMET CH-47Fs, and Slovenia has welcomed its shipment with expressions of gratitude and admiration.
A few days ago, the Slovenian daily Delo highlighted that the Spanish Chinook is the largest helicopter sent by an allied country, as it is slightly larger than the two CH-53s sent by Germany.
"Large helicopters are among the means of transport that Slovenia received from foreign aid to eliminate the consequences of the catastrophic floods. The most recognizable is the CH-47F chinook brought by the Spanish Army", Gasper Boncelj noted.
Boncelj added: "The Chinook is a twin-rotor transport helicopter. It is named after the Chinook Indian tribe. It has a large rear loading ramp and three external cargo hooks. It is 30 meters long and a load capacity of more than 12 tons. The maximum speed is just over 300 kilometers per hour, the autonomy is 700 kilometers."
Španski transportni helikopter Chinook CH-47 @Defensagob za prevoz težkih tovorov je pričel z opravljanjem nalog pri odpravljanju posledic #poplave23 skladno z nalogami @URS_ZR in z roko v roki s @Slovenskavojska . V slogi je moč. #SkupajSmoMočnejši 🇪🇸 & 🇸🇮 pic.twitter.com/vsqQzHoLNB
— Slovenska vojska (@Slovenskavojska) August 9, 2023
On August 8, the Slovenian Army announced the arrival of the CH -47F Spanish to Ljubljana Airport, in Brnik. The next day, the Slovenian Army published the video that you can see on these lines, in which we see the FAMET Chinook lifting loads with its slings. "There is power in style", the Slovenian military account commented about the Spanish helicopter. This Monday, the Slovenian Army published a new video showing the transport work of the Spanish military and its CH-47F:
Danes letalsko podporo #polpave23 izvajajo slovenske, španske, srbske in nemške posadke helikopterjev. Odšli so avstrijski in madžarski helikopterji, katerih prispevek je bil izjemnega pomena. #SkupajSmoMočnejši pic.twitter.com/Umgq1Cvh7I
— Slovenska vojska (@Slovenskavojska) August 14, 2023
On Thursday, August 10 at 1:45 p.m., Slovenj Gradec City Council reported about the helicopters that had arrived in the area to provide assistance: "the largest of them, the Spanish Chinook H-47, which will transport the cargo heaviest –construction machinery – to the upper Mežiška valley". The aforementioned town hall published this photo of the Spanish CH-47F perched in a meadow. In the background we can see one of the German CH-53s in flight.
The Spanish CH-47F has been collaborating closely with the Slovenian Army, which has deployed various land resources, and with the country's emergency services.
Here we can see the Spanish soldiers of the BHELTRA V hooking concrete cylinders with slings, in the area affected by the floods, to lift them with the helicopter.
Here we see the Spanish military preparing the slings for the CH-47 at the Ljubljana Airport. "The last works have consisted of moving concrete cylinders to rebuild a bridge. 6 cylinders of 4 tons each plus 5 containers of 1 ton each of water (with water) in external load ", pointed out the Army August 12th.
The CH-47F is an excellent helicopter for heavy transport , not only because of its great capacity when it comes to lifting loads, but also because of the stability provided by its double-rotor configuration.
The Army has informed that the The Spanish military team sent with the CH-47F is made up of pilots, mechanics and the cargo team, and they go "double", that is, with two teams to work in shifts: "in this way they can work day and night if the needs demand it."
Spanish help has been felt in Slovenia, and the soldiers of the FAMET have received tokens of gratitude as beautiful as those of these Slovenian children. One of them holds a banner that says "Thank you Spain" in Spanish. Everything seems to indicate that the Spanish Armed Forces already have a new group of admirers in Slovenia.
Main image: Tomaž Jandrok. Source of the other photos: Ejército de Tierra / Slovenska Vojska / Mestna Občina Slovenj Gradec.
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