Swiss Air Force Cougar helicopters have crossed the border to collect water for cattles.
A really weird and unexpected incursion into the French airspace took place at the end of July.
According to what “Neue Zürcher Zeitung” (“NZZ”), two Swiss Air Force Eurocopter AS332 Super Puma helicopters equipped with bambi buckets collected more than 50,000 liters of water from Lac des Rousses border lake, in France.
Although the Swiss Air Force requested permission to enter the French airspace to the French Air Force, the local authorities and police were caught by surprise by the cross-border incursion that almost led to a diplomatic upset.
Swimmers and fishermen enjoying the waters of the lake, located in the Jura mountains, in eastern France were particularly startled by the unexepcted arrival of the choppers.
Newsworthy, the Swiss military helicopters were involved in a larger operation that saw the military pumping water for livestock from Swiss lakes for over a week. In fact, thirsty cows produce less milk, of particular concern in the mountainous Jura region of France and Switzerland where milk is used by producers to make prized cheeses are produce.
H/T to Jan Hildebrandt for the heads-up
Image credit: Wiki
My girlfriend reminded me how important cheese is. Good to see the military helping out in peace time over there.
Why did it “almost lead to a diplomatic upset” if they asked for permission?
They had permission to cross French airspace, not to take water from a lake in French territory, so regional authorities were quite upset about the Swiss stunt.
Really? transporting water by helicopter is the most efficient option?