US Ejected From Uzbekistan Base

THREE DAYS after the US was given approval to continue using Manas, Kyrgyzstan, for the movement of troops into Afghanistan, it was asked to remove its personnel and aircraft for its Afghan operations from another important hub. On July 29, a notice was received at the US Embassy in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent, to say that all US military aircraft and personnel must leave Kharshi-Khanabad Air Base, Uzbekistan (commonly referred to as K2) within six months. No reason was given, although in recent months the Uzbek Government has been continually tightening restrictions at the base, including a ban on

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Turkish Black Hawks Deploy to Afghanistan

THREE TURKISH UH-60L Black Hawk utility helicopters were deployed to Afghanistan on May 30 in support of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The helicopters arrived at Kabul International Airport on board two Antonov An-124-100 cargo aircraft operated by the Ukrainian Antonov Design Bureau International Cargo Transport service.

A Turkish Air Force C-130 Hercules supported the deployment bringing in the manpower and all necessary equipment. Turkey sent a total of 56 personnel, including 12 aircrew members and 16 technicians.

The helicopters, which are taking part in Turkey’s first ever helicopter detachment for a peacekeeping mission abroad, is slated to

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Taking the Strain in the Middle East

THE RAF’S Hercules fleet is seeing a major surge in the tempo of its operations in the Middle East to support simultaneous British Army combat deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan. It comes at a time when almost half the RAF’s C-130K fleet is undergoing urgent modifications.

As a result, the RAF’s C-130J fleet, operated by 24 and 30 Squadrons, is being heavily tasked during the current rotation of army brigades, totalling more than 20,000 troops, into Afghanistan and Iraq. C-130Js are used to shuttle troops to and from Basra so that RAF Tristars and chartered airliners can land at Al

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Tim Ripley reports from Afghanistan on NATO air operations in southern Afghanistan, aimed at ousting Taliban insurgents.

AIR STRIKES recounted give some idea of the scale and complexity of NATO air support at the height of fighting between alliance ground troops and Taliban insurgents in southern Afghanistan over the summer. Air operations reached a peak in September as Canadian-led NATO troops swept into a Taliban stronghold west of the city of Kandahar and British Paratroopers battled to hold a series of isolated so-called ‘Platoon Houses’ in the north of neighbouring Helmand Province. According to US Central Command Air Forces, which

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RNLAF Apaches Move Base in Afghanistan

ROYAL NETHERLANDS Air Force (RNLAF) AH-64D Longbow Apache helicopters deployed to Afghanistan have moved their base from Kandahar to Tarin Kowt in Uruzgan. The six Apaches from 301 Squadron made the 30-minute flight to their new home on October 20, whilst still maintaining readiness to provide support for any operations, if required, during the move. Stationing the helicopters at Tarin Kowt will move them much closer to the Dutch ground troops deployed there, enabling them to provide protection when needed in a shorter space of time. A new apron has been constructed at their new base which can accommodate all

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Nemo in Afganistan

Task Force ‘Fenice’ the helicopter component of the Esercito Italiano (Italian Army) in Afghanistan — received a boost to its capabilities last year from a new operational unit, Squadrone NH90 (NH90 Company). It brought into theatre the army’s newest helicopter, the NH90.

Deployment Decision

The decision to deploy the NH90 dated back to spring 2011, when it was necessary to deploy an effective replacement for the Italian Navy’s AW101 helicopters. ThevAW101s were reaching the end of their deployment and various substitutes were able to fulfil the same missions, namely combat support, combat service support (CSS) and medical evacuation.

The options

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Marine Harriers Over Afghanistan

Warren E Thompson profiles US Marine Corp AV-8B Harrier operations in Afghanistan undertaken by VMA-513, the ‘Flying Nightmares’.

THE SOVIET Union sent its military forces into Afghanistan in 1979 with the aim of extending its influence in that area of the world. Ten years later, it pulled out after losing 15,000 men. Soviet aircraft losses were also extremely high — unable to cope with the unconventional type of warfare that the Mujahideen used, the Russians paid heavily for the lesson. Moving forward 13 years, the rugged and desolate terrain of Afghanistan again became a battleground, though this time not for

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French Rafales Deploy to Kandahar

THREE SINGLE-SEAT Dassault Rafales from the Armee de l’Air’s (AdlA — French Air Force) Escadron de Chasse 01.007 ‘Provence’ have been deployed to Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan. The aircraft departed Base Aerienne 113 ‘Commandant Antoine de Saint-Exupery’ at St Dizier on February 7, making a technical stop in Greece before flying on to Kandahar the following day.

This is the second time the type has been used to support Operation Serpentaire, the French element of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) operations in Afghanistan, aircraft having previously been deployed to Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on March 12, 2007 (see Rafale F2s Begin Afghan

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Bush Tucker Trial

Native to Central and South America, the Bushmaster is the world’s largest species of venomous pit viper. This deadly creature is capable of multiple bites, and it has forged a formidable reputation. Large, thick-bodied and with an upturned snout, its typical colouring is light brown with a series of dark brown or black blotches that run the length of the body. I still remember my first encounter with a Bushmaster, with the foregoing description proving fairly accurate. However, my face-to-face confrontation did not take place in the deep jungles of South America, but rather in Australia.

Since the species’ introduction

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Armed Abroad

Italy makes plans to arm Predator and Reaper UAVs

The Italian air force will become the second international customer after the Royal Air Force to be able to arm and employ in hunter-killer missions its U.S.-provided Predator and Reaper UAVs.

The White House is proposing the move to Congress, which has not rejected the request despite some members’ concerns. Indeed, Italy had already ordered an unspecified quantity of Lockheed Martin Hellfire missiles last year, noting that the approval process would be concluded in due time. In turn, delivery of the missiles could start soon.

Informally, Italy had approached the U.S.

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