German ‘Tornado’ aircraft deploy to Mazar-e Sharif
MAZAR-E SHARIF, Afghanistan – Six German Air Force “Recce-Tornados” landed at Mazar-e Sharif airport, completing the deployment of about 200 additional troops and support equipment that will provide air reconnaissance and air surveillance for the International Security Assistance Force. The first aircraft touched down at 2:20 p.m.
During a farewell ceremony 2 April at their home-base Jagel in Northern Germany with Tactical Reconnaissance Wing 51 “Immelmann,” German Minister of Defence Franz Josef Jung stressed the importance of additional capabilities of air reconnaissance and surveillance for the ISAF commander to further increase security and protection of the Afghan people and ISAF troops.
Shortly after the German Bundestag signed the mandate for this additional German contribution to the overall ISAF mission on 9 March, German Air Force and German Forces Support Command initiated complex plans and procedures for the deployment and successful integration into current structures of both Regional Command North in Mazar-e Sharif and ISAF HQ in Kabul.
Transfer of authority to the ISAF Commander is planned for 9 April while air-crews will be conducting familiarization flights. After all aircraft have been positively checked and released, an initial operational capability is planned to be reported to ISAF HQ. With that, first operational flights might be tasked by the ISAF Commander by mid-April.
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