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Groupe de Ravitaillement en Vol 02.091 Bretagne
File:EB 2-91 Bretagne.jpg
Insignia of the Group
Country Flag of France.svg France
Branch French-roundel French Air Force
Service history
Active January 1 1942 - present
Role Air Supply
Part of 31e Escadre Aérienne de Ravitaillement et de Transport Stratégiques
composed of 4 Escadrilles
Battles *World War II
Commanders
Insignia

The Groupe de ravitaillement en vol 02.091 Bretagne[1] (French language:Groupe de Ravitaillement en Vol 02.091 Bretagne) or Air Supply Group 2/91 Bretagne is a unit of the French Air Force specialized in missions of air supply[2].Implanted on an Aerial Base, the unit is equipped with Boeing KC-135FR Stratotanker and Boeing C-135FR Stratolifter tanker/transports. Titled with 6 citations at the orders of the armed forces during the Second World War, the Bombardment Group Bretagne (French language:groupe de bombardement « Bretagne »), which the group associates traditions which has been awarded the Fourragere of the war 1939-1945 at colors of the Order of the Légion d’honneur[3].

HistoryEdit

The Bombardment Group Bretagne (French language:groupe de bombardement « Bretagne ») was created on January 1 1942 at Fort-Lamy, in Tchad, from the permanent detachment of Aerial Forces of Tchad (French language:Détachement Permanent des Forces Aériennes au Tchad, (DPFAT)). Becoming the bombardment group - Groupe de Bombardement Moyen II/20 Bretagne, the latter took part to various World War II campaigns including the Fezzan campaign, Tunisia, Italy, the Liberation of Alsace and bombardments of Germany. In 1946, the unit became a Transport Group (French language:Groupe de Transport), the was numbered I/63 Bretagne in July 1947. The unit operated in Africa, until dissolution in 1963. The bombardment squadron - Escadron de Bombardement 2/91, created previously on December 1 1964 at the corps of the 91e Escadre de Bombardment (French language:91e Escadre de Bombardement), retook the traditions of Bretagne. On April 1 1965, the first Mirage IVA arrived to the squadron. After a drop on the firing field of Colomb-Béchar, the squadron was operational in July and integrated the ensemble plan of the nuclear force de dissuasion until dissolution, on July 31 1996.

KC-135F refueling Mirage 2000 and F-18C 1994

a C-135 refueling 2 French Mirage 2000 and 1 U.S. VFA-113 F/A-18 during Operation Southern Watch (April 23 1994).

The first unit of the French Air Force to be equipped with means of air supply was the 90e Escadre on August 1963. Initially equipped with 12 C-135FR, the 90e Escadre de Ravitaillement en Vol (ERV) and the other air supply units were spread at the corps of 3 Mixed Escadres Bombardment Mirage IV/C-135FR in 1965. In 1976, the Air Supply Escadrons/Squadrons (French language:Escadrons de Ravitaillement en Vol) were united at the corps of the 93e Escadre de Ravitaillement en Vol (French language:93e escadre de ravitaillement en vol) until 1993. On August 1 1996, the Escadrons de Ravitaillement en Vol (ERV) 1/93 Aunis and 3/93 Landes were dissolved. The air supply means (French language:moyens de ravitaillement en vol) of these two squadrons were regrouped at the corps of a new ERV 93 Bretagne created the day. The unit became the only composition of the French Air Force to put into effect air supply means with C-135FR. The 2 Escadrilles of Landes (SPA Bi 54 and SAL 22) were preserved at the corps of ERV 93, as well as the traditional escadrille Rennes and Nantes. On September 1 2004, the ERV lost the designation of Escadron/Squadron to become a Group and was designated Groupe de Ravitaillement en Vol 00.093 « Bretagne ».

Since August 2009, the «Bretagne» has retaken the designation of Groupe de Ravitaillement en Vol 2/91

In 2012, the escadrilles Rennes', Nantes and SPA Bi were dissolved and replaced with three other units. On August 27 2014, the 31e Escadre Aérienne de Ravitaillement et de Transport Stratégiques was created on an Aerial Base.[4]. The latter regrouped GRV 2/91 Bretagne and the Specialized Technical Support Squadron (French language:Escadron des Soutiens Techniques Spécialisés) (ESTS) 15/93.

MissionsEdit

Ground crew with a C-135FR

A C-135FR of ERV 4/94 « Sologne » at Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan (29 May 2007).

The principal mission of this aerial unit is inscribed by the air support supply and transmissions of the Mirage 2000N and Rafale (F3) of the Strategic Air Forces. Since 1980, the C-135 have participated to the following operations:

  • Tchad : Operation Manta (French language:Manta) (1983), Operation Épervier (French language:Épervier),
  • Gabon : Murène (1981/1982),
  • Lebanon : Chevesne (1984),
  • Saudi Arabia : Daguet (1990/1991), Alysse (1991),
  • Turkey : ACONIT (1992/96),
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina : Crécerelle, Salamandre (1993),
  • Kosovo : Operation Trident (French language:Trident) (1999),
  • Afghanistan : Enduring Freedom - Héraclès (2001/2002),
  • Côte d'Ivoire : Opération Licorne (French language:Licorne) (2002),
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo : summer 2003.
  • Libya : Harmattan (2011)
  • Mali : Operation Serval (2013)
French KC-135 at Manas Air Base, Kyrgyzstan

A C-135 undergoing maintenance on a Aerial Base in 2009.

EquipmentEdit

  • 11 C-135FR, 12 exemplary bought at origin, first delivery in 1964, 1 lost in 1972;
  • 3 KC-135RG ex-USAF bought in 1997.

In 2014, it was announced that a demand for 12 Airbus A330 MRTT Phénix, one to two exemplary to be delivered by 2018 to replace 14 C-135 as well as other aircraft in the French Air Force. [5]

Successive denominationsEdit

  • Groupe de Bombardement Bretagne : (1942 to 1943)
  • Groupe de Bombardement Moyen II/20 Bretagne : (1943 to 1944)
  • Groupe de Bombardement II/20 Bretagne : (1944 to 1946)
  • Groupe de Transport II/20 Bretagne : (1946 until July 1 1947)
  • Groupe de Transport I/63 Bretagne : (July 1 1947 until 1963)
  • Escadron de Bombardement 2/91 Bretagne : (December 1 1964 until July 31 1996)
  • Escadron de Ravitaillement en Vol 94 Bretagne : (August 1 1996 until September 1 2004)
  • Groupe de Ravitaillement en Vol 94 Bretagne : (September 1 2004 until August 1 2009)
  • Groupe de Ravitaillement en Vol 2/91 Bretagne : ( since August 1 2009)

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. http://www.defense.gouv.fr/air/activites/unites-aeriennes/groupe-de-ravitaillement-en-vol/groupe-de-ravitaillement-en-vol-02.091-bretagne
  2. The French word "Ravitaillement" means "Supply" in English. However, while the word "Ravitaillement" or "Supply" can be understood as designating Air Refueling, it can also designate within the context of the French Air Force, any sort of supply activity while Airborne.
  3. Attribution de Croix de la valeur militaire
  4. http://www.defense.gouv.fr/air/actus-air/les-premieres-escadres-de-l-armee-de-l-air
  5. MRTT "Phénix" en commande pour l'armée de l'air.

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