In a recent letter to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Congressman Ander Crenshaw, a member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, underscored the importance of providing Afghanistan with Light Air Support aircraft.
The text of the letter, signed by Crenshaw, Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio and Congresswoman Corrine Brown reads:
"We are writing about a matter of significant importance to our national security, the U.S. Air Force's recently awarded Light Air Support (LAS) contract. The light air support capability is long-overdue and critical to our successful withdrawal from Afghanistan. We urge you to take the steps necessary to ensure that implementation of this contract moves forward without delay.
"It is essential that we enable the Afghans to mount an indigenous air force to aid in the defense against the Taliban and other extremist organizations. The safety of our men and women on the ground today and the future security of our nation depend on that. Unfortunately the road to providing U.S. commanders in Afghanistan with the light air support capability they requested long ago has been paved with numerous unnecessary and costly delays. Now, the window for providing this resource and training in time to make a difference is quickly closing.
"We know that you understand the urgency of this situation and we applaud the determination of the Air Force to move forward with this program despite numerous delays. Please know that we stand ready to assist in any manner to ensure that these aircraft reach our warfighters and partners on the ground in Afghanistan without further delay."