US Hands Over Two More Black Hawks To AAF

US Hands Over Two More Black Hawks To AAF”

However, the sources are saying that the main goal of his visit is the formal takeover of the helicopters on behalf of the Afghan Air Force.

Senior Afghan and American officials welcomed the arrival of new US-made military helicopters on Saturday, beginning a process that will radically transform the young Afghan air force.

The event was also aimed at reinforcing public support for the ongoing US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military mission here, following President Trump's announcement in August of a new, open-ended policy that would add several thousand USA troops, focus on ending the war rather than nation-building, and follow the plan designed by Ghani and Nicholson to enable Afghanistan to defend itself within the next five years.

The first UH-60s Black Hawks had arrived in southern Kandahar province last month.

Resolute Support said at the time that the new Black Hawks will increase the Afghan Air Force's capability and sustainability.

The US plans to provide the Afghan air force with 159 Black Hawks until 2020, Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri told dpa.

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Nicholson said the militants in Afghanistan were getting weaker day-by-day.

On September 3, Ghani announced during a visit to eastern Nangarhar province that 6 billion dollars would be spent on the Afghan air force within the next four years.

"While transitioning to the Black Hawk will not be a quick task, it will not be a hard task".

All of the Black Hawks being supplied to Afghanistan are from excess U.S. Army stocks, refurbished and updated before being sent here.

The Russian-designed Mi-17 helicopters that now form the backbone of the Afghan air force worked well for crews used to Russian equipment, but deteriorating relations between Moscow and Washington meant that the Americans were unable to provide new parts and aircraft to replace the overworked aircraft.

"We do not want bloodshed, we just want to defend our country and that is our legitimate right", Ghani said.

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