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US hands over $600M military gear to Afghanistan

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KABUL: The United States has handed over hundreds of HUMVEEs military vehicles, equipments and night vision goggles to Afghanistan Army as it is preparing to draw down its troops from the country, officials said Friday.

The US has provided military equipment worth $600 million to the Afghan security forces so far this year, said Gen. John Deedrick, the commander of Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (CSTC-A) on Friday.

“We have provided as part of our commitment to both the government of Afghanistan and to the security ministries and the security forces just under 1,600 different types of vehicles, 250 Humvees. We have also provided about 1,600 night vision goggles, of course, about 10 aircraft helicopters and four fixed-wing airplanes,” added Gen. Deedrick.

He said the Taliban violence is too high and that joint operations with the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) will be increased to repel threats.

“The Taliban violence is too high and we are continuing to support the Afghan security forces and the government, and we will defend the Afghan security forces in accordance with the agreement. When violence goes up, airstrikes and capabilities and our operations and support of the ANDSF go up,” said Gen. Deedrick. “We do conduct strikes and operations in accordance with the US-Taliban agreement, and we will continue to do so.”

In response to a question about the foreign forces withdrawal from Afghanistan, Deedrick said the US forces withdraw will be done responsibly.

“The United States and NATO remain committed to support the government of Afghanistan. We remain committed to support the Afghan security ministries,” he said.

On the closure of US military bases in Afghanistan, he said: “You know we have closed those bases… We are doing a responsible drawdown. We are down to about 4,500, but that still allows us to provide the type of support that we need to provide to the government and to the security forces.”

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