In January of 2013, French troops came across a large group of terrorist militants moving across Mali. Operation Serval forces moved in to combat the fighters and has since expanded to combat terrorist cells throughout the Sahel region of Sub-Saharan Africa over the past six years. In June of 2019, militants shot down a French SA342 Gazelle helicopter, and the two pilots were able to make a controlled landing despite being heavily wounded. The sniper onboard who had received mild injuries quickly extracted the pilots. A nearby ALAT Tiger attack helicopter flew to the scene despite enemy fire, strapped the wounded pilots to the outside of the aircraft, and flew them back to base for medical attention.