Tuesday, December 23, 2014

HELISAF - Spanish SAR in Afghanistan

ISAF Helicopters over Badghis province
(Photo TSgt Kevin Wallace)
As we reach the final days of the ISAF mission and the beginning of the Resolute Support mission a bit of history is slipping by. The past 13 years have seen numerous countries take part in the Afghan War. Beginning in January 2015 the commitment to Afghanistan, about 12,000 personnel, will provide advisory coverage on only four out of the six ANA Corps and some small bases in Kabul. As 2015 goes by the footprint will get even smaller; with about 6,000 troops at Bagram and Kabul only as 2016 begins. In an effort to capture some of the past history of the different nations participating the Afghan War News Blog will provide some glimpses of past operations, units, and events.

To this end we are highlighting an article about the Spanish Air Force Search and Rescue (SAR) teams that served for a number of years in western Afghanistan. The SAR teams (helicopters, crew, medical, and Spanish Air Force Special Force) provided medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) capability to the International Security Assistance Force's (ISAF) Regional Command West (RC-West). Erwan de Cherisey, an aviation expert and war correspondent wrote an extensive article detailing the Spanish SAR capabilities and a descriptive explanation of how they conducted their very important mission. Read "HELISAF: Spanish SAR in Afghanistan", Air Forces Monthly.com, February 2014 (posted on Spanish Department of Defense website).

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