6 March 2014, 11:42

US begins withdrawal of equipment from its airbase in Kyrgyzstan

US begins withdrawal of equipment from its airbase in Kyrgyzstan

The US has started the withdrawal of equipment and machinery from its air base located at the Bishkek airport Manas. This came today as a statement by commander-in-chief of the base, John Millard.

According to him, at the moment, the personnel of the base has already completed its mission of transferring the staff of the coalition forces to and from Afghanistan, and of providing refueling in the air of aircraft engaged in operations. A few days ago, the last flight refueling aircraft left the Manas airport.

"Now, we are engaged in transferring certain real estate items of the Transit Center to the Kyrgyz side," Millard said. "The infrastructure and some real estate items will be transferred to the government of Kyrgyzstan."

According to him, Kyrgyzstan will be able to use these facilities for their major traffic center in Manas. "Most likely, we will not leave special equipment to the Kyrgyz side," Millard added. As the commander stressed, by July 10, all the staff of the base "will be transferred to the place of its permanent dislocation."

The US air force base was opened in Kyrgyzstan in December 2001. It was intended to support the "Operation Enduring Freedom" in Afghanistan. Originally, forces and means of several countries participating in the coalition were present at the base.

However, in recent years, the backbone of the group was formed by military personnel and equipment of the US Air Force. In 2009, the airbase was renamed the Transit Center. Few months ago, the current Kyrgyz leadership made a decision to close the base; the coalition soldiers deployed on it are obliged to leave the country by July 11.

Read also:

Kyrgyzstan sends US a memorandum to leave Manas air base by 2014

'Closure of Manas transit center will hit Kyrgyzstan financially' - expert

Kyrgyzstan informs US ambassador about shutting down Manas air base

Voice of Russia, TASS

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