The Bundeswehr is facing another dangerous mission in Afghanistan.
In the capital, Kabul, two helicopters should be ready for action from this Saturday, which are able to bring endangered people to safety who cannot make it to the airport on their own.
According to the Ministry of Defense, the machines can be used to rescue individual German citizens or local workers from dangerous situations.
The helicopters are H-145M machines with a total of 13 soldiers.
They are assigned to special forces and have been requested by the USA.
The US troops mainly flew with large-volume helicopters and needed a smaller machine in urban areas, said Inspector General Eberhard Zorn on Friday in Berlin.
"We have them."
"No taxi service"
When deployed, the Bundeswehr machines should always be accompanied by US helicopters. In the background there is also an "airborne intervention reserve" from the US side. “This is a real air operation. This is not a "taxi service," "said Zorn. First, the "Spiegel" reported on the planned mission. The helicopters of the Special Forces Command (KSK) are actually designed to rescue hostages and are very agile. You could end up in densely populated cities. So far, the Bundeswehr has only been deployed within Kabul Airport, which is secured by US troops.
The situation around the airport has been chaotic since the militant Islamist Taliban came to power.
Thousands of Afghans and foreign nationals are hoping for an opportunity to get to safety on western flights.
The situation is extremely dangerous.
Local helpers from German organizations also report congested and in some cases impassable streets where the Taliban have set up checkpoints.
Two Germans injured
A German civilian sustained a gunshot wound on the way to the airport.
Vice-government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said on Friday in Berlin: "He is receiving medical care, but there is no danger to his life." Another German was slightly injured near the airport, as the German Press Agency learned from the Foreign Office in the evening.
It was initially unclear whether it was a gunshot wound.
One of the two injured has already been flown to Tashkent in Uzbekistan.
The other is transportable, but was still in Kabul on Friday evening.
The entrance to the airport was temporarily closed on Friday.
As a result, the Bundeswehr was only able to take 78 people on a flight in the afternoon, although the A400M can hold more than twice as many passengers.
According to the Defense Ministry, the Bundeswehr had brought more than 1,700 people at risk to safety by early Friday evening. In the late evening, another Bundeswehr machine brought 172 more vulnerable people to Tashkent. The time pressure is growing because the USA actually wants to have the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan completed by August 31st. However, the evacuations of other armed forces such as the German armed forces depend on the protection provided by the currently 5,200 US soldiers.Keywords: