Leadership: France Reinforces Forces In Afghanistan


October 22,2008:  France has sent two Gazelle reconnaissance helicopters to Afghanistan, as well as another EC 725 Cougar transport chopper. The 1.8 ton Gazelle is similar to the U.S. OH-58. The 11 ton EC 725 is similar to the U.S. UH-60. All three have arrived and are in action. France already had two transport helicopters there, but the lack of recon birds was partly responsible for a Taliban ambush last August, where ten French soldiers were killed. The nations that have been fighting in Afghanistan the longest (the U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia), are enthusiastic users of UAVs and helicopters to scout routes in areas where the Taliban may be active, or even if there are no Taliban believed to be around. That's because banditry is a popular outdoor sport in Afghanistan, and anyone not from your tribe is considered fair game.



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