The United States has delivered the first two of an eventual 159 Black Hawk helicopters to Afghanistan to replace the aging Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters currently in use.  

Maj. Gen. Stephen Farmen, the head of Army Security Assistance Command, told reporters Thursday the UH-60A Black Hawk sale had been in the works for about nine months prior to the delivery. The sale is a major part of the U.S.-led coalition training mission.

“Helicopters are incredibly important for success in Afghanistan,” said Farmen, who leads the command responsible for $177 billion worth of foreign military sales to 153 countries.

“Anyone that serves there knows that being able to move around via helicopter is essential, so we’re moving off the Mi-17s. The bottom line is that’s a very long-term commitment of the U.S. to Afghanistan.”

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