Kandahar Air Field
Kandahar Air Field has been the base for the ADF Ch-47 Chinook Helicopter detachment since March 2006. The two Chinooks were withdrawn in early 2007 for refurbishing, and the helicopters and crew returned to Australia in April 2007. In February 2008 the aircraft and crew re-deployed to Kandahar. RAAF Mobile Control and Reporting Unit deployed to Kandahar Air Field mid-2007, and was established as the RAAF Control and Reporting Centre (CRC) in August 2007. In April 2007 the Australian government announced its intention to deploy an RAAF air surveillance radar capability to Kandahar. A detachment from 114 Mobile Control and Reporting Unit RAAF based in Darwin, from the Surveillance and Response Group will deploy to Kandahar Air Field. 114MRCU is equipped with AN/TPS-77 mobile phased array radar. In July 2009 the RAAF Control and Reporting Centre (CRC) returned control of Afghanistan airspace to a remotely located United States facility.
The cavemen are busy today, Image Galleries 2009, Operation Slipper, Department of Defence, 15 May 2009
The Rotary Wing Group operate from Kandahar, in Afghanistan’s south. The two dark Australian machines are nestled among Dutch Chinooks, almost bright green in comparison, and a row of new pale Khaki US CH-47Fs. To describe Kandahar Airfield as bustling is a euphemism. It is expected that, with the influx of US forces into Afghanistan, one aircraft will, on average, lift off or land on the airfield every three minutes. Simply put, it is the busiest airfield on the globe. At night, the strip sounds busier, with jets, prop aircraft and helicopters crossing the airfield constantly. “We recently had a C-17 land every five minutes,” CFN Chapman says. He is reclining on a timber deck mounted on two iso containers. From the deck the airfield stretches away, a concrete ribbon lined with Black Hawks, Chinooks, Kiowas, Sea Kings and Apaches. Across the airstrip are parked white Mi-8s, while at the far end a colossal Mi-26 sits, brooding in the sun and dwarfing the machines arrayed beside it.
31°30’21″N 65°50’52″E, GlobalSecurity.org
Detailed account of the airfield, its history and development and present role, photos and satellite imagery.
Source: Google Earth
Kandahar International Airport, Wikipedia
Kandahar Airfield, Uruzgan Weblog [pub suspended]
Kandahar Airport, Afghanistan Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation
Detailed current technical information, photos and map. “Airfield is 10 miles (16 km) SE of Kandahar, just west of Kandahar-spin Baldak road, 43 miles (69 km) NW of Pakistan border, and 96 miles (154 km) NW of Quetta Pakistan. Airfield is sometimes difficult to locate from the air due to a lack of contrast with ground and usual dust and haze in area.” Location: N31° 30′ 49.10″, E65° 51′ 39.80″
Kandahar Air Base [Google Earth*]
* Google Earth (free download) required.
Kandahar Airfield Satellite Imagery, GlobalSecurity.org
Airfield maps, and US military satellite imagery before and after 2001 attacks.
Kandahar City Map, AIMS, February 2005 [273KB-PDF]
Kandahar Area (topographic map in Russian) Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection
Portion of Soviet General Staff map H-41-VI 1985 (776K), original scale 1:200,000.
RAF Regiment go on foot to make a difference in Kandahar, Defence News, UK MOD, 29 Aug 06
Useful description local combat conditions and RAF activities.
Afghanistan’s fastest-growing city, Kandahar Airfield, Nukes and Spooks, Washington Post blog, 26 July 2009
If you want to see rapid economic development and growth in Afghanistan, the cities are not the place to go. Instead, head due south, about an hour south of Kandahar to here, Kandahar Airfield, or KAF. With the Obama administration’s decision to “surge” an additional 17,500 troops plus 4,000 trainers and the influx of civilians, the massive military base is quickly expanding. This is seemingly hard to believe to anyone who has been here before. There already are several gyms, hair salons and game rooms. Most notably, there is a massive boardwalk where you can eat Subway, Pizza Hut or Burger King all while watching the Canadians play hockey in a large ring situated nearby.
I worry what this all looks like to the Afghans. At the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates often talks about how the coalition cannot look like an occupation. I don’t see how Afghans can look at the expansion of KAF, particularly as their quality of life deteriorates, as anything but. At the minimum, this place is about as far from the everyday Afghan and infantrymen’s experience as one can get.
- ADF bases and locations abroad
- CH-47 Chinook helicopter detachment
- Kandahar Mobile Control and Reporting Unit
- Coalition forces: Canada
- Kandahar Province and Kandahar City
Page maintained by: Arabella Imhoff
Updated: 20 August 2009