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NRC expands support for Afghan Air Force

NRC expands support for Afghan Air Force

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On
Apr 23, 2013 - 19:28

BRUSSELS (PANinfo-icon): Foreign ministers agreed to expand their support for the Afghan Air Force (AAF) during a meeting of the NATOinfo-icon-Russia Council (NRC) in Brussels on Tuesday.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the alliance secretary general, said: “Today we launched the second phase of the NATO-Russia Trust Fund for the maintenance of helicopters in Afghanistaninfo-icon.”

The expanded NRC support for the Afghan Air Force includes training technicians on more types of helicopter and in new areas such as developing the AAF medical evacuation capability.

Rasmussen, who chaired the NRC session, said: “This project is of great value to Afghanistan and it shows that NATO-Russia Council efforts can make a vital contribution to security and stability in Afghanistan.”

The Trust Fund will help bolster the AAF ability to operate its fleet of 47 helicopters more efficiently by providing training for the technicians and required spare parts. The project, which was launched in March 2011, has so far trained 30 technicians.

In June, an NRC counter-terrorism project will test for the first time a technology jointly developed between allies and Russia to detect explosives in crowded places. The test will be held in a metro station in a European capital.

The Danish diplomat said the NRC shared “a common vision for Afghanistan, as a country that is secure, stable and at peace with itself and the wider region.”

Founded in 2002, the council will provide the AAF a conversion kit to transform a Mi-17 helicopter into a fully-equipped flying ambulance.

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