Trip Reports
By Aviamagazine.com | October 2004

Afghanistan, Kundus province

Report on ISAF forces present in this area

After many years of war Afghanistan is now on it´s way to peace. Although there is a long way to go the democratic elections in October are a big step forward. To provide stability in the region, the UN send an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). ISAF forces are based in Afghanistan and their neighbouring countries and primarily work with a "Show of force" strategy.

First stop in this short visit was the Airport of Termez, Uzbekistan. Termes is one of the jump points for ISAF forces and supplies to enter the northern region of Afghanistan. Based on Termes are German forces providing transport services with C-160 Transall and CH-53 heavy transport helicopters.

The journey continued by C-160 Transall to the Afghan airport of Kunduz. In Kunduz some 269 German soldiers from the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) for the Kunduz region. Although Kunduz offers no more than a gravel landing strip and a desolated surrounding, we spotted some interesting aircraft and helicopters. Besides ISAF C-130's there were two former Afghan Air Force Mi-17 Hips on the platform, as you can see, maintenance isn't a top priority. Obvious they didn't fly for some time. A Shovkoviy Shlyah Airlines An-12 was seen delivering some cargo.


Mi-8

Mi-8

C-130

C-130

An-12

An-12

The most spectacular part of our trip started when two CH-53's arrived and transported us to our next stop in Pol-e-Khombri (in the province of Baghlan). Because of possible hostile fire we were forced to fly very low and follow the contours of the terrain. Some spectacular pictures were made as the CH-53 flew over the Afghan countryside with it´s cargo door open! For self-protection, two gunners are on board, and one of the crew members is sitting on the cargo door.




CH-53

We also spotted this An32 just before departure. What make's this plane interesting is that no markings or serials were seen on the plane and it wears a complete white colour scheme.

Sand and Afghanistan are one, the picture of the CH-53 landing in a field near Pol-e-Khombri shows Afghanistan is a dusty place to be. Note that the landing helicopter doesn't seem to bother some local framers.

The next day, the last stage of our trip started with the flight back to Termez. One stop on the way was made to refuel. The trip continued to Manas, Kyrgyzstan.

Manas International Airport houses the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing, based in Kyrgyzstan in support of the war on terror. Most of the USAF supplies are shipped through Manas and the air tanker fleet is based here. During the anti-terrorist campaign the base was named Ganci Air Base and was also the home base of Norwegian, Danish and Dutch F-16s.

The RNLAF f-16's returned to Manas in September of this year, on request of the UN to deliver a show of force with the upcoming elections.

 


C-130

KC-135

F-16

F-16

F-16

F-16

Besides the military use of the airport like the RNLAF KDC-10, it's still in use as a civil airport. Some exotic airlines were seen on the platform, most of them using the Tupolev Tu-154.


Tu-154

Tu-154

Tu-154

KDC-10

This concludes our short trip to Afghanistan. A short, fast and exciting trip with some unique aircraft spotted.

Comments
You need to be logged in as Aviamagazine member or connected with Facebook to post a comment.
Gostar den Daas | 13 mei 2007 11:21

We don’t have any info at all.


I'll guess a CIA flight?

Sergio Finardi | 13 mei 2007 8:06

It would be illegal to fly without markings/registration number. Any other info on this plane?


It is not for fun, it is for important reasons.


Thank you


 


Caboto


Chicago, IL