(Source: www.dvidshub.net – By Capt. Lyndsey Horn 455th Air Expeditionary Wing) – Additional Kandahar assets ready to deliver decisive air
Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan – – The additional air assets recently realigned to Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan are bringing increased capabilities that attack Taliban networks and also support U.S. personnel embedded with Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.
Beginning in mid-January 2018, A-10C Thunderbolt IIs, HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters and added MQ-9 Reapers arrived at Kandahar to meet an uptick in airpower requirements in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and the NATO Resolute Support mission.
Arrival and Unloading of a HH-6-G Pave Hawk, assigned to the 33rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron, from a C-17 Globemaster III On January 26th, 2018
© Staff Sgt. Sean Martin, U.S. Air Forces Central Command Public Affairs
The aircraft provide a variety of airpower capabilities such as close air support and personnel recovery, which is especially vital as U.S. Army advisors of the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade deploy to train and advise their Afghan counterparts on the ground.
“Kandahar Airfield is the perfect location for additional airpower in Afghanistan because it provides increased opportunities to quickly and effectively attack networks that shelter, enrich, and sustain the enemy,” said Col. Stephen Jones, 451st Air Expeditionary Group commander. “Now that we’re closer to the enemy with more airpower assets, we mitigate challenges involving distance, we bring greater firepower to the enemy faster, and we can establish persistent over watch of the enemy in more places.”
Located in the southern part of the country, Kandahar Airfield sits in a region associated with a stronger Taliban influence.
For close to 30 years, Kandahar province, along with Helmand province to the west and Uruzgan province to the north, were essential to the terrorist organization, said Jones.
With the announcement of a new U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, U.S. Air Forces Central Command looked to move air assets into theater. All aircraft were ready to fly missions within days of arrival. The A-10 specifically flew its first mission 18 hours after landing. (…)
Photo >>> Two U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs depart after receiving fuel from a KC-135 © Tech. Sgt. Paul Labbe, ibid