Gateway To Afghanistan

Status symbol

In a village near the Manas Transit Center in Kyrgyzstan, men gather to chat wearing their traditional 'kolpaks' (tall felt hats. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
In a village near the Manas Transit Center in Kyrgyzstan, men gather to chat wearing their traditional 'kolpaks' (tall felt hats. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Apparently you have to have status in your village to wear one of these hats. In a village we passed through Monday, I spotted these men gathering to chat wearing their traditional 'kolpaks' (tall felt hats.)



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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.




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