German Military Helicopters to Assist Afghan Evacuation

Admin Emergency Services, Helicopter Search and Rescue, Helicopter Services

Germany’s Bundeswehr has loaned two of its Airbus H14M military helicopters and personnel to the Afghan evacuation effort in an effort to bring more people out of the country from Kabul’s airport. These compact helicopters will be used for combined air operations and expand Germany’s existing contribution to the ongoing military humanitarian effort.

It was the U.S military that requested these two additional choppers from the German government according to the Bundeswehr, which clarified that the planes will be essential for accessing trapped evacuees that can’t make it to the airport itself. Taliban insurgents have by this point surrounded Kabul’s airport and control almost the entire city around it along with most of the country as a whole.

According to the head of the Bundeswehr, Inspector Eberhard Zorn, “This is a real air operation. This is not a taxi service”. The German military head further explained that the relatively small helicopters will be essential for urban evacuation efforts due to their ability to maneuver much more nimbly than large transport helicopters like the CH-47 Chinook.

The Airbus H145M multi-role twin-engine light helicopter has been developed by Airbus to normally carry a total of 9 passengers and two crew members, though this configuration can be modified depending on buyer needs. The H145 is often used for helicopter emergency services, rescue, medevac, and military utility work. It offers a ferry range of up to 531 miles (855 km) and can reach speeds of 167 miles per hour (267 kph). The helicopter is particularly useful for maneuvering landings amidst cramped urban terrain.

The evacuation of foreign nationals and certain Afghan residents of Afghanistan has been moving at a frantic pace since the Taliban took over almost all of the country as of last week. So far, the U.S Defense Department claims to have already evacuated over 25,000 people, but many thousands more remain who are desperately waiting for an airlift out of Kabul.

The Bundeswehr alone has also been responsible for the evacuation of 1,900 people and can use these small utility choppers for reaching others stuck outside of established departure points in Kabul.

In addition to assistance from other governments in the evacuation efforts, the U.S military is now also receiving passenger transport support for private airlines and other professional private air charter services in its transfer of refugees and government staff away from Afghanistan.