New Research Division Publication
- Conference Report: "The Future of Airborne Forces in NATO", by Guillaume Lasconjarias and David Pursley.
On 28 January, 2013, some 300 French paratroopers belonging to the 11th Parachute Brigade dropped onto the airport of the ancient trading city of Timbuktu, in close coordination with ground troops coming in from the south, to expel Jihadist fighters from the whole of the area.
The case highlights how an airborne operation is able to achieve not only tactical advantage but a strategic effect too. It also emphasizes the need to think about the future of airborne troops and their use in the broader NATO context.
Accordingly, on 12 April, 2013, the NATO Defense College hosted a high-level conference of military experts and practitioners to examine common issues shared by countries with airborne troops and capabilities. By seizing this unique opportunity to analyse current operations as harbingers of future use, participants evoked not only the need for these capabilities but also discussed future prospects and new ideas.