Sunday, 10th July 2005 by
Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan is currently being used by US forces as part of operation “Enduring Freedom” (geez, who makes up these names?). The Airbase played a key role during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan back in the ’70s, serving as a base of operations for troops and supplies. Aircraft based at Bagram provided close air support for Soviet and Afghan troops in the field.
In 1989 the Soviets pulled out due to international pressures and the loss of over 15,000 troops due to the US funded mujahideen fighters. Fighting subsequently continued among the various mujahidin factions. This eventually gave rise to a state of warlordism. The chaos and corruption involved in warlordism in turn spawned the rise of the Taliban. The US and an international force intervened (again) in 2001 with the invasion of Afghanistan and re-claimed Bagram Airbase with its 10,000 foot landing strip.
The following picture is an old satellite shot from the ’70s showing a Soviet Mig parked just off the main strip…
…and this is what it looks like now:
There are lots of other interesting aircraft parked at the airbase. Single and twin rotar helicopters (Chinooks, Blackhawks & Apaches), A-10 tankbusters, a
huge bomber C-17 cargo plane and some AV-8B Harrier jump-jets. Thanks for all your aircraft identification help!
Thanks: Joe Phillips, seamus & Heinz Felber