Spanish Salamanca Engineers Regiment, a benchmark in Europe for its specialization in infrastructure construction, has been chosen to design the new big military base in Bamako, the capital of Mali, with capacity for 800 military personnel from various nations and the possibility of expanding up to about 1,500. A major challenge -as was once the military base built by the Salamanca military in Lebanon and a reference for the United Nations-, in which a command of seven spanish engineers have been working for two months on the ground in Bamako.
From the capital of Mali, Commander San Martín, at the head of the deployed team of engineers, describes to Spanish newspaper how in these two months they have dedicated themselves to recognizing and studying the characteristics of the land where the base will be located, with hydrographic studies included, in addition to contacting the neighbors of the nearby towns to receive their impressions and convey the commitment that the base will not affect the aquifers in the area.
“We have elevated the project to Brussels. At the base, 50% of the water used will be recycled and solar energy will be used ”
“It is a leading base with the Salamanca seal, the most modern and sustainable that the Regiment of Engineers has built. We have designed a spacious, modern base that is committed to the environment. Following European directives, we are designing different systems that allow recycling at least 50% of the water used, as well as implementing solar panels that allow reducing the energy consumption that comes from diesel generators ”, confirms the commander of the Engineers Regiment of Salamanca. “Each design is a challenge and we are not conformists, since we look for solutions”, he emphasizes.
The project of the new large base for the European Union designed by the Spanish engineers has already been raised to Brussels and it is estimated that between June and July the project can be approved. The EU is firmly committed to reducing the logistical footprint and prefers to support the Malian population and involve them in the construction of the base, than to deploy large military companies for construction as in other missions. For this reason, the flow of engineers from Salamanca who will travel to Mali will surely be constant in the next two years, although in small groups of 10-15 people who control and direct the process of construction of the base.
For now, the seven engineers displaced in Bamako, housed in a European mission barracks-hotel, do not know when they will return home. “It is too early to know how long this mission can last. What can be said is that Spain’s commitment to security in this region is clear and engineers are always needed,” adds Commander San Martín, who explains that also They support EUTM in other areas of Mali.