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Gateway To Afghanistan

Dispatches from Manas

Archive for December 2010

Nominee predicts continued U.S. presence at Manas

The woman nominated by the White House to serve as the next ambassador to Kyrgyzstan predicts Manas Transit Center will be available to the U.S. military for as long as it’s needed. In comments before the U.S. Senate panel considering her confirmation, nominee Pamela Spratlen said:

“While we’ve had our ups and downs with Kyrgyzstan, there have been negotiations over the exact elements of how we would cooperate with Kyrgyzstan to use the transit center, in every instance we’ve been able to come to an agreement with Kyrgyzstan on a way forward,” Spratten told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “I think the Kyrgyz authorities clearly understand the importance of a secure and stable Afghanistan. … And I believe that it will be possible for us to continue to rely on the cooperation of the authorities of Kyrgyzstan for the use of the transit center for as long as we need it.”

Here’s a link to coverage of the committee hearing by EurasiaNet.org: click here.

 

Analyst and others say Airbus likely will get tanker deal

A new report from The Seattle Times indicates Boeing executives, after evaluating Air Force data inadvertently sent to both companies vying for the next generation aerial refueling tanker, are giving up hope of landing the lucrative military contract.

An analyst who favors the Boeing bid, and unnamed congressional sources, say Airbus is likely to get the estimated $35 billion contract based on how the Air Force scored the two aircraft on mission-effectiveness ratings known as IFARA — Integrated Fleet Aerial Refueling Assessment.

The full story, which first appeared in Monday editions of the Times, can be found by here.

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About this blog

Fairchild Air Force Base supplies 80 percent of the military aircraft and flight crews operating out of Manas Transit Center, a key hub along one of the primary NATO supply routes into Afghanistan. The small base, located outside the Kyrgyzstan capital of Bishkek, is barely 400 miles from the Afghan border.

Contributors

Colin Mulvany is a staff photographer for The Spokesman-Review.

David Wasson is a deputy city editor for The Spokesman-Review.

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