Manas plays hub to all military going in and out of Afghanistan

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by KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on October 22, 2010 at 7:38 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 25 at 11:20 AM

Starting on Monday, KREM 2 News and KREM.com will have an in-depth look at John Langeler's trip to the Manas Transit Center in Kyrgyzstan, home to hundreds of men and women from Fairchild Air Force Base.

Kyrgyzstan is home to 5 million Kyrgyz -- many living in poverty.

Over 1,000 American military men and women are stationed at the Manas Transit Center, home of the 92nd Refueling Wing based at Fairchild and home to thousands of armed forces going to or coming from the war in Afghanistan.

For the U.S., it is a temporary home.

When asked how important Manas is to Fairchild men and women, Sgt. Lee Becker with the 141st Air National Guard replied, "it's probably the most crucial piece."

"It's busy, there's always something to do," said Steven Burrago with the 92nd Maintenance Group.

But questions about the transit center linger: how long will the U.S. stay? Why are millions of dollars being spent when the future is being debated by Kyrgyzstan's new government? Why does the Air Force call Kyrgyzstan a "crown jewel" when the country is battling poverty, political turmoil and lack of infrastructure?

"The elections would probably determine the outcome of what's going to be happening," said A1C Wesley Nesbit, a Civil Squadron Engineer. "We're happy to work with any government that's here right now."

Tune into KREM 2 News at 6 on Monday for the beginning of John Langeler's series, "Flying with Fairchild."

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