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Air Force formally handed 2 C-130 aircrafts

Air Force formally handed 2 C-130 aircrafts

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Oct 09, 2013 - 22:40

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): The Afghan Air Force officially received two C-130 transportation aircrafts during a ceremony in Kabul, the Ministry of Defence said late on Wednesday, amid calls for international efforts to strengthen the nascent force.

Defence Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi and US and NATOinfo-icon top commander in Afghanistaninfo-icon, Gen. Joseph Dunford, attended the ceremony.

Speaking on the occasion, Mohammadi called the handover a positive step toward improving the Afghan Air Force capacity.

 “Over the past six months, the Afghan forces have been taking the lead in keeping the country’s security and have been able to ward off threats and spoil insurgent plans. But the period saw the Afghan Air Force struggling with lack of facilities,” the minister said.

Highlighting problems facing the air force, Mohammadi said insurgents had intensified their attacks on Afghan forces to discredit them before the public. But the under-resourced national forces were able to frustrate the enemy’s designs, he said.

Happy over the delivery of the cargo planes, the minister wished more such assistance and cooperation from the United States. He said the US had provided Afghan forces with six helicopters last month and Washington was expected to deliver six more helicopters in near future.

Mohammadi said the US had promised providing the Afghan army with different types of planes and choppers.

For his part, Gen. Dunford said the US wanted Afghanistan to have a strong and confident air force, which he said had gone stronger, compared to the past and had played a key role in supporting other Afghan counterparts and protecting citizens.

The NATO commander insisted on continued and sustainable international community’s cooperation with Afghanistan well beyond 2014.

mrh/ma

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