Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Look What Happened Last Time

Well, with almost uncanny relevance to the logistics issue I mentioned in the last Viktor Bout post, the New York Times' Eric Schmitt reports that the US forces in Iraq have increased their demand for airlift by some 29% in the last month as security on the roads slips away.
"Responding to the threat of roadside bombings and ambushes of American ground convoys in Iraq, the Air Force is sharply expanding its airlift of equipment and supplies to bases inside the country to reduce the amount of military cargo hauled over land routes, Air Force officials said Tuesday.

Dozens of Air Force C-130 and C-17 transport planes, and contracted commercial aircraft, are ferrying about 450 tons of cargo a day, including spare parts, food, water, medical supplies and other matériel that normally moves by truck or trailer, a 29 percent increase in the past month.

Even trucks are sometimes shipped in by air.

In just the past month, the increased air operations have kept more than 400 trucks and about 1,050 drivers with military escorts off the most dangerous roads in Iraq, said an Air Force spokesman, Lt. Col. Mike Caldwell. American military convoys have been suffering about 100 deaths and injuries a month."
No wonder an Irbis Air plane is said to have been in Iraq during November, or that despite the announced cut-off of contracts to Falcon Express a source tells me that they are still flying to Iraq, including both the An-12 and Il-76. The LA Times also reports the story above but doesn't seem to tie it up with their (outstanding) Bout report yesterday.

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