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US Gives Afghanistan 159 Black Hawks To Bolster Its Aging Helo Fleet
The U.S. military is giving the Afghan Air Force some much needed support: 159 Black Hawk helicopters to replace its aging fleet of Russian Mi-17 transport helicopters, according to Military Times. The first delivery, expected in 2019, is part of Afghanistan’s plan to double the size of its special forces and strengthen its air force.
The hope is that the newly acquired UH-60 Black Hawks will help the Afghan military break its current stalemate with the Taliban — which controls large swathes of the country — by providing much needed mobility and leverage for security forces. The plan has been in the works since 2016, and there are concerns that it may not come to fruition in time to be of significant help.
“We are in the midst of an insurgency where the enemy is getting tacit support from neighboring countries,” Ahmad Shah Katawazai, a defense liaison and security expert at the Afghan embassy in Washington, told Military Times. “Our security forces are under immense pressure as they are fighting each day, on several fronts, with more than 20 terrorist organizations.”
The new helos will nearly double the Afghan military’s current fleet of 78-Mi17s, but there are concerns that the 159 new aircraft will burden the local forces’ already-undermanned maintenance staff.
“Given that it takes substantial U.S. support to maintain the airframes that the Afghan Air Force has already, it doesn't seem feasible that they would be able to support that many Black Hawks without a significant contribution from NATO,” Dr. Matthew Archibald, an independent researcher and consultant on South Asian issues, told Military Times.
The Afghan military — like the U.S.-led coalition — has leaned heavily on airpower for troop transport and offensive operations. The latest estimates from the the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction show that roughly 18 of the Afghan Air Force’s Mi-17s are currently unusable — though the report notes that most of the issues with the old Russian helos are due to overuse.
In addition to the Black Hawks, Afghanistan will be getting a few fixed-wing aircraft — six A-29 fixed wing close attack aircraft and five armed AC-208s — as well as 30 MD-530 Cayuse Warrior ground attack helicopters.
SAN DIEGO — A San Diego-based Navy SEAL acquitted of murder in a closely watched war crimes trial this summer has filed a lawsuit against two of his former attorneys and a military legal defense nonprofit, according to a complaint filed in federal court in Texas on Friday.
NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland — The Air Force is reviewing whether some airmen's valor awards deserve to be upgraded to the Medal of Honor, Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said on Tuesday.
Goldfein revealed that several airmen are being considered for the nation's highest military award during a press conference at the Air Force Association's annual Air, Space, and Cyber Conference. He declined to say exactly who could receive the Medal of Honor, pending the outcome of the review process.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who in 2013 leaked secret documents about U.S. telephone and Internet surveillance, saying his new book violates non-disclosure agreements.
The prison complex at the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba naval station built after the Sept. 11 attacks that was billed as the venue for the "worst of the worst" in international terrorism now seems be the site of the "worst of the worst" in government excess.
As reporter Carole Rosenberg wrote in The New York Times on Monday, the total cost in 2018 for housing just 40 prisoners, paying the guards, and running the military tribunals there is somewhere north of $540 million, or roughly $13 million per prisoner.
Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.
NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland -- The U.S. Air Force will call its new trainer the T-7A "Red Hawk."
Acting Air Force Secretary Matt Donovan announced the name of the jet, known previously as the T-X, on Monday, alongside retired Col. Charles McGee, who was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen.
"The name, Red Hawk, honors the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, and pays homage to their signature red-tailed aircraft from World War II," Donovan said here during the annual Air, Space and Cyber conference.