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Kandahar and Pul-i-Kandahar

Kandahar International Airport

 • Kandahar International Airport, east of the city, was one of the largest airports in Central Asia. U.S. warplanes began to target it on October 7. By mid-December, hundreds of U.S. forces -- first Marines and later Army troops -- toook control of the facility, making it the United States' largest military base in Afghanistan.

 • The 15th and 26th U.S. Marine Expeditionary Units initially set up their base, later named Camp Rhino, along a desert airstrip southwest of Kandahar on November 25. The Marines' mission included intercepting Taliban and al Qaeda troops and gathering intelligence on Osama bin Laden and his followers -- activities similar to those of the U.S. Army Special Forces inside Afghanistan.

 • In mid-December, shortly after the Taliban relinquished control of Kandahar, the Marines began the process of taking the airport. The troops opened the way for planes carrying supplies and humanitarian aid by clearing airstrips of land mines. Troops from the Army's 101st Airborne Division have since the Marine contingent.

Pul-i-Kandahar

U.S. forces also have created a small helicopter base in Pul-i-Kandahar, about 20 miles west of Kabul. Chinook transport helicopters and Apache and Cobra attack helicopters used this base in March 2002 to launch sorties during Operation Anaconda in the Shah-e Kot Valley.



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