Questions Abound on Abandoned Black Hawks
Congressman Dan Meuser said on Newsmax there are many questions the administration must face, including the decision to leave behind expensive U.S.-made weaponry including Black Hawk helicopters.
The Pennsylvania Republican said 158 Black Hawks were left behind for the Taliban to seize.
“That is a billion dollars worth of Black Hawk helicopters left behind,” said Meuser. “Speaker Pelosi refers to this as leaving some stuff behind. These people are thinking in an inverse manner compared to how my constituents certainly feel about this issue, and I believe, most rational members of Congress.”
The actual amount of equipment seized by the Taliban, or even whether any Black Hawks or the other aircraft is still operable, is not yet being reported by the federal government, reports Defense One.
According to the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, as of June 30, the Afghan Air Force had just over 200 planes and helicopters, the site reports. Of that, just 167 was available for missions, with most operating from Kabul and Kandahar, the special inspector report indicates.
Not all of the Afghan military’s aircraft came from the United States. According to the report, the Afghan government had 50 American-made MD-530 attack helicopters, and its Air Force had been flying the Black Hawks and Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters, among other planes.
According to the report, the United States gave the Afghan Air Force more than 130 aircraft over the last 20 years, and in July the Defense Department said it would be providing the Afghan Air Force with 35 more Black Hawks and three A-29 Super Tucanos, but just three of the new Black Hawks were delivered last month.