Italian C-27Js Complete Afghanistan Ops

Jan 30, 2009
Andy Nativi/Genoa, Italy Andy nativi@rid.it

Two Italian Air force C-27Js Spartan tactical transport aircraft returned home on Jan. 27 after completing a deployment in Afghanistan which started on Sept. 12th, 2008.

The aircraft have carried out more than 200 operational flying hours, completing 50 missions and transporting 1,500 passengers and 30,000 pounds of cargo. The aircraft, which made up the Task Group Albatros, part of the Joint Air Task Force (JATF) that controls all the Italian air assets in theater, have been employed in a variety of roles, including medevac, cargo and personnel transportation. They have been operating from both the main Kabul airport as well as from regional airport and from tactical strips in support of the four remote PRTs (Provincial Reconstruction Teams) in the Western Regional Command area.

The C-27Js belongs to the Pisa Air Force Base 46th Aerobrigade, which has so far received 10 of the planned 12 C-27Js. The last two aircraft are to be delivered before the end of the year.

The JATF has carried out in 2008 a total of 4,600 flight hours, with 1,400 having being flown by the Predator unmanned aircraft. The JATF has transported a total of 16,000 passengers. It is organized in several task groups: Devil, with the Mazar-e Sharif Tornado recce aircraft, Astore with the Predator, Albatros with the C-27J and now with a single C-130J, Pantera with the Italian Navy AB-212, Fenice with the Italian Army CH-47C and AW-129 and Tigre with the Air Force AB-212.

Photo: Alenia Aeronautica

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