Representatives Cohen, Case, Hayes and Ryan Request Information on U.S.-Supplied Afghan Aircraft

September 14, 2021
Press Release
Letter to Blinken and Austin seeks whereabouts and status of planes and helicopters flown to Uzbekistan

MEMPHIS – Representatives Steve Cohen (TN-09), Ed Case (HI-01), Jahana Hayes (CT-05) and Tim Ryan (OH-13) tonight wrote to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin seeking information about the U.S.-supplied aircraft Afghan pilots flew to Uzbekistan as the Afghan military collapsed before the Taliban takeover of their country.

The letter reads in part:

“On August 16, it was reported that 22 military planes and 24 helicopters were flown out of the country to Uzbekistan and their whereabouts are now unknown. These aircraft included C-208 utility aircraft, A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, and Mi-17, Mi-25, and UH-60 helicopters. We commend your efforts to ensure the safety of the pilots who feared retribution from the Taliban, as recent reports indicate that they are in the process of transferring to a U.S. military base.

“Given these reports, we respectfully request that you provide detailed information about the status and location of 46 aircraft that were reportedly flown to Uzbekistan and any other aircraft that were flown by Afghan pilots out of the country. We also encourage the United States to seek possession of these aircraft, as they were provided to the Afghan government and members of the Afghan government took them to a foreign country where they became abandoned property.

“The Taliban was not in control of Kabul at the time that the planes were abandoned and have not been recognized as the successor to the Afghan government. Since the government that owned them at the time of their abandonment no longer exists, the aircraft should rightfully revert to the grantor of the property, the United States of America.”

See the entire letter here.