BISHKEK, June 19 (TCA) -- The process of refueling a military aircraft in the air was demonstrated on June 8 for representatives of the Kyrgyz mass media, and before, it was demonstrated for Kyrgyz MPs willing to see how the crews of the U.S. aircraft from the Transit Center at Manas solve their daily tasks in an environmentally responsible manner.
Guests were invited for a few minutes in the rear compartment, where they could watch the refueling process. Journalists have also observed from the crew compartment the taking off and landing of the aircraft.
The flight was carried out on the Stratotanker KC-135 on the route ‘Manas Airport – Jalal-Abad – Osh – Son-Kul – Balykchy – Manas Airport’ and took two hours. The flight speed was 700 kilometers per hour at a height of 7,000 meters. South from Osh city, the KC-135 had fuelled the military transport aircraft C-17 with servicemen from Afghanistan’s Kandahar on board.
During the flight, the journalists were accompanied by Colonel James A. Jacobson, commander of the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing (on June 13 Col. Jacobson relinquished command to Col. Corey J. Martin), and Robin Solomon of the U.S. Embassy in Kyrgyzstan.
The aircraft was aviated by two U.S. pilots and a Kyrgyz pilot Mamatazi Abdiyev. He told that every day the Americans carry out about 15-17 flights depending on combat missions.
"The tasks that we perform include primarily air refueling and redeployment of transit staff to Afghanistan and back, airlift of cargo and personnel, and strengthening relationships with the local population. The strategy of the new commander, Col. Martin, will not bring major changes: the goals of the Transit Center at Manas will remain the same,” said Col. Jacobson.
The distance between the Manas Airport in Bishkek and Afghanistan is 1.5 hours to its northern part and two hours to the southern part. This is the optimal distance for the refueling of aircrafts circling over Afghanistan 24 hours a day.