The Afghanistan Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced the U.S. Army presented it with “combat equipment,” including 640 military vehicles, in a Wednesday ceremony.
The vehicles included 403 armored Humvees, 42 Ford Ranger trucks, 23 ambulances, and 170 motorcycles.
Acting Minister of Defense Shah Mahmood Miakhel thanked the United States for its assistance and said the vehicles would dramatically improve the capabilities of his Afghan National Army (ANA) forces. He said the United States has thus far provided 19,000 pieces of military equipment to the government of Afghanistan.
“Increasing the capacity and capabilities of the ANA is a top priority. The whole ANA will be equipped with more modern equipment and tools,” he said.
The US transferred 640 new military vehicles to #ANA @MoD’s Logistics Command. 1st Dep. @S_MIAKHEL thanked the US & said, "Increasing the capacity and capabilities of the ANA is a top priority. The whole ANA will be equipped with more modern equipment and tools 1/2 pic.twitter.com/hZ2WtpXOrB
— Ministry of Defense, Afghanistan (@MoDAfghanistan) February 24, 2021
Armored vehicles are in especially high demand in Afghanistan because the MoD is constantly struggling to detect and defuse Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) left on public roads by the Taliban. The ANA is also preparing for a possible surge of Taliban violence in the spring.
Sherkhan and Shukrullah are two ANA members who discovered and defused 200 IEDs in Sherzad district of Ningarhar Prov. during 20 past days. The IEDs were placed by Taliban on public roads to kill innocent people. As TB try to harm Afghans, ANA put their lives at risk to save them pic.twitter.com/4MGsSNU8km
— Ministry of Defense, Afghanistan (@MoDAfghanistan) February 25, 2021
Miakhel said the vehicles would be delivered to the 209th, 217th, 201st, and 203rd ANA corps in northern and eastern Afghanistan. He complained these units are dealing with repeated violations of peace negotiations by the Taliban, including freed Taliban prisoners returning to the battlefield in defiance of their commitments.
“They committed to not return to the battlefields, but some of them returned to the war, some of them were killed and arrested — the latest statistics that we have is that 600 to 800 of them have returned to the war,” Miakhel said.