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​US Air Force service members arrive at Istres-Le Tubé AB, France, in support of Operation Juniper Micron, Feb. 21, 2016. US Air Force photo by SrA. Erin Trower.

​KC-135 tankers forward deployed to Istres, France, this week to continue supporting French military operations in northern and western Africa, US Air Forces Europe-Air Forces Africa announced. Air Force tankers have flown more than 750 flights, refueling more than 2,900 French air force aircraft since last December, prompting USAFE-AFAFRICA to detach the tankers to Istres to reduce transit time. Three KC-135s and more than 50 airmen from the 100th Air Refueling Wing at RAF Mildenhall, UK, deployed to Istres-Le Tubé AB, France, for Operation Juniper Micron on Feb. 21, according to a release. Mildenhall tankers began supporting French operations in Mali in January 2013, and the US will "continue to provide the same level of support to our French allies" as long as required, USAFE-AFAFRICA officials stated.