AAF may not need all C130s: SIGAR
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): The Afghan Air Force (AAF) may not need all C-130 aircraft provided by the US under a id="mce_marker"00 million-plus deal, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said on Wednesday.
In a letter to US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John F. Sopko expressed concern regarding the Department of Defense (DOD) plan to provide C-130 cargo planes to the Afghan Air Force (AAF).
“Our preliminary review of this plan indicates that not all of these aircraft may be needed. Action taken now could save substantial expenditures,” he argued. As of June 2014, the US has already delivered two C-130s to the AAF, with plans to deliver a third in August and a fourth by the end of the year.
“During our audit of US support for the AAF to determine its capability to absorb additional equipment, we became aware of concerns regarding the C-130 program. First, we could not determine why DoD, in order to provide airlift of medium weight loads to the AAF, decided to provide four C-130s rather than different quantities or types of aircraft,” he asked.
Although the decision was made in January 2013 to purchase four C-130s, the AAF requirement for those aircraft had not been updated since March 2010, he wrote.
“Second, we analysed flight data for the two C-130s currently in Afghanistan and found that they are being underutilised, which raises questions about whether additional aircraft are truly needed.
“Lastly, during my visit last month, I was informed about support problems associated with training, spare parts, and maintenance for the two C-130s currently in the inventory,” the SIGAR maintained.
Issues with sustaining US-funded infrastructure and equipment in Afghanistan were not new, Sopko said, adding the opportunity existed with the C-130s to ensure the Afghans were capable of supporting what they had already been given.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.