British helicopter crews aid Afghan elections

British helicopter crews in Afghanistan helped transport ballot boxes as the country voted in key parliamentary elections today.

Lynx and Apache crews from the Joint Helicopter Force provided cover for Afghan Air Force helicopters carrying boxes, papers and people to Musa Qala.

Major Dan McBride, of Joint Aviation Group Afghanistan, said: “Due to the topography of Afghanistan and the indiscriminate nature of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), supporting the election on the ground can be open to disruption.

“The best and most effective means of achieving the electoral process in hard to reach areas is, therefore, to utilise aviation – specifically helicopters - to support the procedure.”

Group Captain Nick Laird, Commander Joint Aviation Group, said: “The Afghan transport helicopters can only go to certain areas unaccompanied.

“We assist them with escort duties into those areas that have a higher threat. We provide those escort aircraft by either using Lynx or Apache.”

The Afghan Mi-17 or ’Hip’ helicopters are Russian-built and designed to fly in “hot and high” conditions.

The Taliban disrupted the polling with rocket attacks and bombings.

At least three civilians were killed, two in a rocket attack in northern Baghlan province and one when a rocket hit a house in eastern Kunar province.

Related Articles

Coillte fought department to pay bonuses to CEO

Gloves off in Coilte's fight for bonuses

More in this Section

Tributes flood in for astronaut Edgar Mitchell, who has died aged 85

Dramatic pictures show large buildings collapse on Taiwan streets

UN Commissioner calls for abortion laws to be relaxed in Zika-hot countries

Plane 'was waiting to fly Edward Snowden to US'


You might also like

Today's Stories

Feisty Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders raise the stakes in confrontational debate

Julian Assange hits out at UK’s response to his ‘arbitrary detention’

Wife facing six years in Italian jail for not doing chores

Pope Francis plans historic meeting with Russian Orthodox Church patriarch

Lifestyle

Movie Reviews: Strangerland, Trumbo, Dad’s Army

Boss bitch - The passion of Nicki Minaj

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Ellie Kemper is smiling her way to success

If you wonder why you are still together you could be in a zombie marriage

More From The Irish Examiner