A Republic of China Air Force F-5E Tiger II ready for take-off after a Quick Reaction alert bell ringed. The aircraft, equipped with live AIM-9 Sidewinders, was quickly manned in its hardened shelter and taxied to the runway. A final check... and off he goes.
All ready for take-off. Five Taitung F-5 Tiger IIs at the final check platform before entering the runway. Taiwan is a massive F-5 user, currently the RoCAF is still using over 100 F-5s from two Main Operating Bases and five squadrons, Taitung (4 squadrons) and Hualien (one squadron).
Taiwan once received 150+ Hueys, but only eighty remain in service in recent years. The helicopter is expected to retire in 2019. It is said in October 2019, a retirement ceremony will be held. At Gueiren (Kueijen) air base the Army Aviation Training Centre, the 1st and 2nd Air Assault Battalions are operating the mighty Huey.
Seen during the landing away from its homebase Chiayi air base, this S-70C-6 of the Republic of China Air Force. The unique helo, nick-named (super) Bluehawk in RoCAF is equipped with the Sikorsky Stores Support System, two wings that can carry up to four fuel tanks to extend its standard range. The S-70Cs of the Rescue Squadron are phased out on 9 May 2019, after 23 years of service within RoCAF.
In 1986, Taiwan bought ten S-70C-1s and four S-70C-6s to replace the 1970s Bell HH-1H Huey in the SAR rol. These were delivered from June 1986. The four S70C-1s, like this one shown on the picture, were not fitted for SAR duties, but were delivered as utility helicopters. These four were equipped with luxury chairs and automatic folding access steps fitted to both sides of the fuselage. The S-70Cs of Rescue Squadron were retired on 9 May 2019, after 23 years of service within RoCAF.
Disguised as an USAF F-16C, this Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF, Taiwan Air Force) F-16A is based at Luke AFB (AZ) for pilot training. The 21st Fighter squadron, nicknamed Gamblers, operates twelve F-16A/Bs adnd this 708 is allocated 6607 in RoCAF service. The squadron will move to Tucson in 2021 to create additional room for F-35 operations at Luke.
The three CH-47C Chinooks of the Aviazione dell'Esercito (Italian Army Aviation) that were deployed in 2005 to Afghanistan needed armed protection during their transport missions, so three with door guns armed AB212 (Anti-Surface Warfare) helicopters of the Marina Militare (Italian Navy) were tasked with that job. Weird to see those Navy Hueys deployed in a country with hardly any water. On a rare day, no sand dust was in the air, so the great Hindu Kush mountain massif could be seen.
Saving fuel, the two outer engines were stopped, while the inner ones were used for generating speed during taxi. Fuel was scarce at Kabul and these old engines use quite a lot. Photography was not appreciated on the field, especially not outside the large platform. So a small compact camera became my friend. This Royal Canadian Air Force Hercules flew into Kabul to support the ISAF mission. The aircraft was not only tasked for the Canadians, but used to support the whole community of some 50 countries (so including a lot of NATO allies).
A just arrived CH-47C is being prepared for flights in support of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission over Afghanistan. In these day's it was a constant come and go of military and civil (transport)aircraft and helicopters at Kabul. Check the tactical landing of the Air West Cargo Il-76 in the back-ground!
Three Italian CH-47C were brought to Kabul International Airport by An-124 in support of the NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan named the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The helicopters were assembled at Kabul, a maintenance guy is preparing things before the massive rotor blades could be attached. A fork-lift truck is seen lifting a box with the rotor blades out of the Chinook's fuselage.
US Air National Guard work horses flew an bizar number of missions during the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) era to and from Kabul. This C-130J-30 of the 143rd Airlift Squadron of the Richmond ANG was one of them.