KREM 2's John Langeler travels to Kyrgyzstan to fly with Fairchild airmen

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by KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on October 12, 2010 at 3:26 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 12 at 5:16 PM

SPOKANE -- It's been almost a decade since the United States entered the War on Terror in Afghanistan.

Nearly every man and woman who fights in that country must first go through the Manas Air Force Base in Kyrgyzstan. Manas, near Bishkek in the northern part of the country, is one of the primary bases for supplies for the war.

It also happens to be where local airmen from the 92nd Air Force Refueling Wing at Fairchild Air Force Base are deployed to and fly for refueling missions. Fairchild supplies 80% of the military aircraft and crew that operate out of Manas.

Kyrgyzstan has had its own turmoil in recent months, putting Manas Air Force Base in jeopardy.

On Tuesday, KREM 2's John Langeler boarded an 8 hour flight for London, where he will later board another 7 hour flight for Kyrgyzstan. He will stay at Manas Air Force Base, where for the next week he will go on refueling trips, and humanitarian missions. Most importantly, he'll be speaking with the local men and women from Fairchild who serve overseas and telling their stories.

"Our time in Kyrgyzstan will give a unique look at the Inland Northwest's involvement in the Afghanistan war," said KREM 2's John Langeler, "and how the American military is trying to keep the locals in Kyrgyzstan on their side."

In April, there was a bloody political overthrow of the previous government. Just this past weekend, there was an election to install a new, more democratic government.

But there is still uncertainty over which one of the hundreds of political parties will lead a coalition, and whether that government will continue to support the U.S. base at Manas.

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