Showing posts with label helicopters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label helicopters. Show all posts

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Remembering - Six Lives Lost in Puma Crash (2015)

One year ago six lives were lost in the crash of a British Puma helicopter at Camp Resolute Support in Kabul, Afghanistan. Resolute Support Headquarters gathered to remember the crash victims in Kabul.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Moldovan Chopper Crashes in Faryab Province

A Moldovan contract Mi-17 helicopter crashed-landed in a Taliban-held area of Faryab province. Two Afghan soldiers and a Moldovan flight engineer were killed in an initial firefight shortly after the crash. Another 13 ANA were taken hostage. Reports state there were two foreigners captured as well; believed to be Moldovan crew. The aircraft was privately owned by the Valan ICC company in Moldova and had been chartered to fly for the Afghan security forces. The Afghan National Army is attempting to rescue the captured personnel. Read more in "Afghan army launches operation to rescue hostages held by Taliban", The Guardian, November 25, 2015. The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) do not have a personnel recovery capability so prospects for the recovery of personnel from downed aircraft in situations like this are dim. As the personnel are already captured recovery efforts become more complicated and will likely fall to the Special Operations Kandak (SOK) stationed in the north (with its complement of SOF advisors) or to one of the Afghan national mission police units based in Kabul. As of Saturday the Afghan security forces were still trying to determine the location of the captives (VOA News, Nov 28, 2015).

Thursday, April 23, 2015

AAF Hind Gunships: Little Time Left

Mi-35 Gunships Going Away. The Pentagon doesn't want to do business with Russia anymore. This has an effect on the Afghan Air Force which depends on Russian built and maintained helicopters for its Afghan Air Force. One of these helicopters is the Russian 'flying tank' or Mi-35 Hind Attack Helicopter. These Mi-35s will probably not be flying a year from now as they are getting old and falling apart. At one time the AAF had nine Mi-35s but since then they are at between 2 and 4 that are actually flying. Many of the Hinds were cannibalized for spare parts. The U.S. has decided to provide the Afghan Air Force with the MD-530F (made by an American firm of course). The AAF will receive a total of 12 armed MD-530Fs and guns and armor will be added to five other MD-530s that are currently used to train Afghan pilots. The MD-530F is nimble and fast but it carries fewer weapons than the Hind and it doesn't have nearly as much armored protection. The MD-530F is a stop-gap measure until the A-29 Super Tucano is delivered and integrated into operations. Read "Afghanistan's Iconic Hind Gunships Won't Fly Much Longer", by Joseph Trevithick, War is Boring, April 22, 2015.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

History of Task Force Musketeer (France)

EC-665 Attack Helicopter - Tiger
(photo by Erwan de Cherisey)
Task Force Musketeer was the name of the French aviation task force in Afghanistan. French military forces have been involved in Afghanistan since 2001 and for most of that time the French ground forces were supported by French rotary wing aircraft of many different types. The French helicopters performed a wide variety of duties to include air support, MEDEVAC, personnel movement, resupply, convoy escort, and reconnaissance. Erwan de Cherisey is a guest writer for the Afghan War News Blog. He has wrote a detailed history of France's aviation support in Afghanistan entitled - Task Force Musketeer. Erwan de Cherisey has wrote numerous articles for many different publications about aviation, Afghanistan, defense and other topics. He holds a master's degree in contemporary history and travels to many conflict zones around the world to report on peacekeeping, stability, and security operations. Erwan will provide articles and book reviews to the Afghan War News Blog on an occasional basis and we are proud to have him on the writing team! Read more about Erwan de Cherisey.

View the online article about Task Force Musketeer.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Contract Helicopter Support for TAAC North

German forces in Afghanistan have recently contracted for civilian contract air with Basta Holdings Corp. The contract has an initial deployment of one helicopter for non-military logistical support. A medium-sized utility helicopter is now operating out of Mazar-e-Sharif (Camp Marmal) in northern Afghanistan. There may be an option for providing additional helicopters as needed. Read more in "Basta Holdings to Provice ACMI Helicopter Leasing in Afghanistan Through New Agreement", Finance News, October 13, 2014.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Retrograde - Shipping Helicopters Home

Have you ever wondered what the U.S. Army is doing with its fleet of helicopters still in Afghanistan? Well, they are shipping them home. Okay, so how does that happen? Richard Johnson - a correspondent with The Washington Post - explains the process to us (story is posted on Stars and Stripes as well). Learn more about "How to neatly ship a Black Hawk helicopter back to the US", Stars and Stripes, September 27, 2014. He also provides us with lots of sketches from his travels in Afghanistan in an online photo journal depicting the Black Hawks in action over Afghanistan.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Molson Air - Helicopter Support in Afghanistan

Flying around Afghanistan can be done in a number of ways. You can go fixed-wing or rotary-wing. If going fixed-wing you have your choice of C-130s (four hour show time) or some smaller contract air aircraft (two hour show time). Another choice is "Green Air" which is military (usually UH-60s or CH-47s) or "Contract Air" - flying one of many contract air helicopters. There are lots of air assets available due to the danger of traveling the roads (IEDs). One of those air assets found in the north and northeast of Afghanistan is known as "Molson Air". Naturally, with the name, you would assume it is a Canadian firm and you would be right! Molson Air has some great pilots and are very good at getting you to where you need to be. And their dispatchers are easy on the eyes! Learn more about Molson Air in this article that dates from the fall of 2011 entitled "Flying 'Molson Air' in Helicopter Magazine.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Canadians Leasing MI-17 Russian Helicopters for Use in Kandahar

"The Defence Department has quietly acquired a new fleet of helicopters for combat missions in Afghanistan, but is refusing to provide details about how much the deal cost taxpayers or how many aircraft are operating. The lease of the Russian-designed Mi-17s helicopters for use in Kandahar province is shrouded in secrecy."
Read the rest of the article in "Details on chopper deal kept secret", The Montreal Gazette, November 22, 2010.