Military Aviation

From C-130 Hercules to ‘contractor dogs’: all the US military equipment left behind in Afghanistan

Yes, as the main photo in this post shows, the US troops have managed to leave behind one of Afghan Air Force C-130s.

A plea for everybody: please, don’t fall for reports about the Taliban ‘captured 208 US-made aircraft and helicopters in Afghanistan’.

That’s the total number of aircraft and helicopters operated by the (meanwhile: ‘former’) Afghan Air Force until about 15 days ago.

The mass of these was flown out to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan; at least three Mi-171s were flown by their crews to the Panjshir Valley, where these joined that Massoud’s ‘Northern Resistance Front’.


…as the main photo in this post shows, the US troops have managed to leave behind one of Afghan Air Force C-130s (at Kabul IAP [Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul])…

(And no, please do not ask me where is it going to end. There are too many options, including repairs and re-use in Afghanistan, or in Pakistan, or in Iran…..)

To resume, at the first look it seems the US have left behind:

  • at least two C-RAM air defence systems;
  • about 700,000 small arms;
  • several thousands of military vehicles (including few hundred of fully-functional, lightly-armoured vehicles);
  • 46-50 service dogs (these were ‘contractor dogs’, so left behind, although actually the same like K-9 military dogs….)
  • dozens of dogs from an animal shelter (Major General Chris Donahue, commander of the US Army 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps, threatened to shoot down a private jet sent to pick them up, yesterday, so they had to let them ‘free’ at the spot….),
  • at least 1 C-130, and
  • at least 7 A-29s.

Moreover according to the Oryx Blog, that has the best review of all the aircraft and helicopters confirmed as captured by visual evidence, we must add to the equipment mentioned above:


  • 1 Cessna 208

Helicopters (24)

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

  • 7 Boeing Insitu ScanEagle

Check out Helion & Company website for books featuring interesting stories written by The Aviation Geek Club contributor Tom Cooper.

Contractor dogs left behind, although actually the same like K-9 military dogs
Tom Cooper

Tom Cooper is an Austrian aerial warfare analyst and historian. Following a career in the worldwide transportation business – during which he established a network of contacts in the Middle East and Africa – he moved into narrow-focus analysis and writing on small, little-known air forces and conflicts, about which he has collected extensive archives. This has resulted in specialisation in Middle Eastern, African and Asian air forces. As well as authoring and co-authoring 560 books and over 1,000 articles, he has co-authored the Arab MiGs book series – a six-volume, in-depth analysis of the Arab air forces at war with Israel, in the 1955–73 period. Cooper has been working as editor of the five @War series since 2017.

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