Under Operation ‘Chammal’ — the French participation in Operation ‘Inherent Resolve’ — Rafales have been forward-deployed in Jordan, and the French Air Force has reached a new level in power projection.
DRIVING TO THE so-called Base Aérienne Projetée (BAP, Deployed Air Base) from Jordan’s Amman International Airport takes two hours. The landscape is desolate: sand and rocks, unfinished houses planted in the middle of nowhere, and fences enclosing emptiness. The straight road that runs east passes through two or three towns and alongside several military bases. In a complicated Middle East, criss-crossed by powerful insurrectional currents, the Armée de l’Air (French Air Force) keeps a low pro le and reveals as little as possible about its presence in the Hashemite kingdom. Officials here speak only of the ‘BAP’, without giving away the offcial name of the Jordanian air base where the French detachment is located.