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Osh, Kyrgyzstan

On 28 November 2001 CENTCOM Commander Gen. Tommy R. Franks stated that additional attack aircraft from the United States and France [and possibly other states] would be sent to Central Asia in early December. Kyrgyzstan was reportedly the most likely base for most of the aircraft.

Initally it appeared that these forces might be stationed at Osh, but by early January 2002 it was reported that forces would be stationed at Manas in Kyrgyzstan.

Exercise CENTRAZBAT '98 was conducted in Osh, Kyrgyzstan, in September 1998. Exercise CENTRAZBAT '98 involved more than 450 military personnel from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Turkey, and Uzbekistan who trained with over 250 US military 10th Mountain Division troops to hone their peacekeeping skills. The exercise enhanced regional cooperation and increase interoperability training among NATO and Partnership for Peace nations.

Because of expense and military doctrine, Kyrgyzstan has not developed its air capability; a large number of the MiG-21 interceptors that it borrowed from Russia were returned in 1993, although a number of former Soviet air bases remain available. Kyrgyzstan in early 1995 gave the last remnants of its Soviet-era air fleet to Uzbekistan in a debt swap. In 1996 about 100 decommissioned MiG-21s remained in Kyrgyzstan, along with ninety-six L-39 trainers and sixty-five helicopters. For the air force, the main training site is the Bishkek Aviation School, once a major center for training foreign air cadets but reduced in 1992 to a small contingent of mostly Kyrgyz cadets.



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