- Why these CH-46ES Helicopters were abandoned
- Who formerly operated the CH-46ES Helicopters
Seven Boeing Vertol CH-46E Sea Knight helicopters operated by the US Department of State Air Wing (DoSAW) have been abandoned in Afghanistan. They had most recently been used on August 15 to ferry personnel evacuating the US Embassy in Kabul out to Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport to board outbound flights.
Following a request on their status, a background statement provided to Key.Aero by a State Department official on August 25 said: “We can confirm that the Department left seven CH-46 helicopters behind in Afghanistan which were rendered inoperable. These helicopters were already being phased out of the Department’s inventory and were slated for eventual destruction due to age and supportability issues. As of August 15, 2021, the Department no longer operates any aircraft in Afghanistan.”
The Ch-46s are all former US Marine Corps aircrafts which were refurbished before entering service in 2012. t is not known whether any of the other CH-46s remain operational, but it seems most likely that the majority are now out of service and the Kabul embassy evacuation could well have been their swansong.