Milestone for Afghan Resupply Missions through Russian Airspace

The State Department announced Wednesday that the United States has completed its 1,000th aerial supply mission into Afghanistan that transited Russian airspace. Those flights have brought “more than 150,000 personnel” into Afghanistan in support of international efforts there, according to the State Department’s release. “The flights will continue in the weeks and months ahead,” it stated. A bilateral agreement from July 2009 has made these flights possible, adding much-needed additional capacity and flexibility to US Transportation Command’s flow of troops and material into the land-locked nation to sustain US and NATO forces. Access to Russian airspace allows modern commercial freighters and military transports to fly directly from bases in the United States over the North Pole en route to airfields in Afghanistan, US military officials have said.