2 Dec. 2008
PR# 2008-673

Czech Republic donates three helicopters to ANA Air Corps

The ANA offload a donated MI-17 attack helicopter at Kabul International Airport. The Directorate for ANA Training and Equipment Support (DATES) at ISAF and CSTC-A worked with the Czech republic to donate 3 MI-17 attack helicopters to the Afghan National Army's Air Corp Dec. 1. This was the first of two helo donations from the Czech Republic. (Jpeg/268Kb)

KABUL, Afghanistan - After a year of preparation, teams from the Directorate for Afghan National Army Training and Equipment Support (DATES), a joint operation between International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Headquarters and Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan (CSTC-A), came together at Kabul International Airport with officials from the Czech Republic Air Force, whose military donated the first three of six MI-17 attack helicopters to the Afghan Nation Army's Air Corp Dec. 1.

“We enjoy helping the Afghan National Army,” said Czech Republic Lt. Colonel Boris Sroms. “This shows our goodwill and that we are on their side to make their country more stable.”

The DATES office recently coordinated the distribution of several donations made to the Afghan National Army. Items that have been donated include helicopters, weapons, bullets, body armour, and boots. The program allows close coordination between ISAF and CSTC-A to get mentoring support in line with the overall objectives in Afghanistan, which are stability, security, and the reconstruction of the country.

Once the MI-17's have passed a thorough safety and maintenance inspection, they will be ready to secure the skies of Afghanistan. Equipment for the Afghan Air Corps will enable them to do everything from close air support mission to med-evacs.

“Med-evac and weapons that work are second nature to most militaries. We met a point of need here, a lot of missions can [fail] due to lack of equipment and that is why our job is so crucial to their success,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Reginald Mackey of Rome, Georgia.

Mackey said the process for donation and distribution is relatively simple. CSTC-A’s DATES office generates the requirements for the Afghan National Army. ISAF then receives the information and disseminates it to NATO representatives from different nations, who go out and solicit donations.

“Twenty to twenty-five different countries have donated in the past year,” Mackey said. “This global platform of support can vary from med-evacs to computer labs. Countries will donate many goods; the hard part is getting them from the country of origin to our location, sometimes we must beg, borrow, and plead for transportation. But, when it all comes together it is great!”

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/