SDF Plane Returns Home after Afghan Evacuation Mission
Sayama, Saitama Pref., Sept. 3 (Jiji Press)--One of the three planes of Japan's Air Self-Defense Force that were on a mission to evacuate Japanese nationals and others from Afghanistan returned home Friday.
The C-2 transport plane carrying SDF members and others arrived at the ASDF's Iruma Air Base, which straddles the cities of Sayama and Iruma in Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo, around 9:30 a.m. (12:30 a.m. GMT). The plane was welcomed by some 100 people, mainly ASDF and Ground SDF members.
On Aug. 23, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi ordered the dispatch of the three transport planes to Afghanistan for the evacuation mission. The C-2 transport plane left the Iruma base the same day and two C-130 transport planes took off from the base the following day.
They helped one Japanese national and 14 Afghans evacuate from Afghanistan, now under the control of the Taliban, by flying between the Afghan capital of Kabul and the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, where the base for the mission was located, multiple times over three days through Aug. 27.
The mission was initially aimed at airlifting up to some 500 people including local personnel of the Japanese Embassy in Kabul and their families.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]