• publish: 5 May 2021
  • time: 11:31 am
  • category: Politics
  • No: 17700

As drawdown begins, 60 planeloads of US military gear leaves Afghanistan

Following Saturday’s official launch of the US troops withdrawal process, military officials have said 60 planeloads of equipment has already been moved out of Afghanistan and a further 1,300 pieces of equipment had been identified for destruction by Tuesday.

The drawdown effort to remove US forces and the equipment spread across Afghanistan was roughly 2% to 6% completed by Tuesday, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Stars and Stripes reported the formal retrograde process began Saturday as the Pentagon works to remove more than 3,000 troops, thousands of US contractors and their equipment by September 11, the date that President Joe Biden decided he wanted all American forces to be out of the country.

Stripes reported that Air Force C-17 cargo jets, which the service said can carry about 17,900 pounds of cargo, are running near around-the-clock missions to move military equipment out of Afghanistan in the Pentagon’s largest drawdown effort since it left Iraq in 2011, officials said.

The CENTCOM statement on Tuesday indicated officials intended to provide regular updates on retrograde progress but would give only an estimated range of the completion for security reasons.

CENTCOM also confirmed it had turned over one base to the Afghan National Army — Camp New Antonik in southern Helmand province.

While U.S. forces will leave some gear behind for the Afghan troops and government and destroy some of its gear, the equipment it removes from Afghanistan will largely be moved elsewhere to bolster other military operations around the globe, Stripes quoted officials as saying.

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