09/02/2012: Footage of the a C-27's first flight in
Afghanistan. This aircraft has been part of the plan to give the
Afghans the ability to support their ground troops – lift and light
attack aircraft. Unfortunately, both efforts are largely in abatement.
Credit Video: American Forces Network Afghanistan:9/1/12
As one source underscored:
The ultimate goal for Afghanistan’s air force is the ability to
support the Afghan National Army against al-Qaeda/ Taliban elements that
launch raids within the country, or from across the border with
Pakistan. Given Afghanistan’s rugged terrain and sparse infrastructure,
however, a decision has been made to make tactical transportation of
troops and supplies the Afghanistan National Army Air Corps’ top
priority.But as another source underscored, the USAF is travelling down a different path.
Only three weeks ago, the Air Force removed the C-27J from flight
operations in Afghanistan. This move appears unrelated to the recent
malfunction and was undertaken as part of the Air Force’s plan to cancel
the C-27J project and retire the fleet of 21 aircraft currently in
service because of budget restraints.
Cancelling the C-27J program and retiring the operating fleet has
met with fierce opposition from the Air National Guard, legislators, and
state governments. A proposal is now before both houses of the US
Congress that, if enacted, would force the Air Force to discontinue all
plans to retire the aircraft. The C-27J has been used as a cargo
aircraft and troop transport in combat and for humanitarian missions in
the United States.
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