BISHKEK. The United States has sent new aircraft and maintenance personnel to Kyrgyzstan to support combat operations in Afghanistan.U.S. military spokeswoman Captain Elizabeth Ortiz today said several C-130 transport planes have arrived at Manas airport, outside Bishkek.General Jared Kennish, commander of the U.S. troops at Manas, said that with the arrival of the planes it will be possible to "better support ground forces" in Afghanistan.
Yesterday, during her second visit to Kyrgyzstan, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Elizabeth Jones said U.S. troops stationed in Kyrgyzstan are serving to maintain stability in Afghanistan. She stressed the troops will n-o-t be used for any potential operations against Iraq. About 2,000 U.S.-led coalition troops operate from the International Ganci airbase adjacent to Manas airport, near Bishkek. The troops include those from Denmark, South Korea, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Spain.