The commercial airport at Pasni, a remote coastal town on the Arabian Sea coast, is one of three Pakistani bases used by US and allied forces to support the Operation Enduring Freedom campaign in Afghanistan. The other bases are at Dalbandin and Jacobabad.
By the end of September 2001 American and Pakistani military officials had discussed the possibility of American use of five airfields in Pakistan: Bareder, Quetta; Dalbandin; Pasni; and Chitral. About 250 Marines are stationed at Jacobabad for search-and-rescue missions. Under the terms of an agreement with Pakistan, the Allied forces can use these bases for search and rescue missions, but are not permitted to use them to stage attacks on Taliban targets. Both Jacobabad and Pasni bases have been sealed off and a 5km cordon set up around the bases by Pakistani security forces.
As of early 2002, more than a dozen US military helicopters were parked at Pasni.
In late December 2001, Pakistan notified the US that the bases at Jacobabad and Pasni might be needed by the Pakistani Air Force, in the wake of rising tensions between India and Pakistan. The facilities were partially reclaimed by Pakistan, and as of early January 2002 both Pakistani and American forces were operating at the two airfields. The US military retained exclusive use of the Dalbandin and Shamsi bases.
As of July 2006, Pasni was still in use by US forces. U-2 reconnaissance aircraft have been sighted on the tarmac.
Pasni, one of the oldest airports in the region, was used by the Allied forces in the Second World War. The airfield can accommodate 737 Boeing jets. The airport provides natural camouflage, with aircraft hangars in the mountains near the airport. This airfield is about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from Pakistan's naval base at Omara on the Arabian Sea.
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