The Afghan Air Force (AAF) is to be supported from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), now that US and coalition forces have all but left the country.
President Ghani made the announcement on 10 July during a security meeting in the province on Khost, national media reported, saying that a location for the maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) of the AAF’s fixed- and rotary-winged aircraft fleet had been established in the emirates.
Ghani’s comment came weeks after Janes first reported that the United States had part transferred support of Afghanistan’s fleet of MD Helicopters Inc (MDHI) MD 530F Cayuse Warrior light attack and reconnaissance rotorcraft to the UAE, ahead of the planned withdrawal of its forces from the country. As Janes noted on 10 June, the last two US Department of Defense (DoD) support contracts for the AAF MD 530F fleet listed Al Ain in the UAE as a site alongside Kabul for MRO support.
While Ghani did not name the already established location in the UAE that will undertake MRO for the AAF, the identification by the US DoD of Al Ain as the site where MD 530F helicopters will be supported, coupled with the base’s indicate that this base in Abu Dhabi, near the border with Oman, will service the wider AAF fleet also.