Some of the US military equipment used in Afghanistan was removed from the country and other items were disabled, Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of US Central Command, told reporters during a briefing on Monday.
The US military kept some equipment operating until nearly the end of the withdrawal to protect US forces and people at Kabul international airport, McKenzie said. That equipment was “demilitarized,” McKenzie said, meaning it was disabled in a way that makes it impossible to use.
As an example, McKenzie said he advanced C-RAM defensive system, which stands for Counter-Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar, was left at Hamid Karzai International Airport. The automated C-RAM system, which detects incoming fire and destroys it with a machine gun, was activated just one day before the withdrawal was complete, when militants fired approximately five rockets at the airport. Two rockets that would have landed on the field were intercepted by C-RAM.
“It’s a complex procedure, complex and time intensive procedure to break down those systems so we de-militarized those systems so that they’ll never be used again, and we just felt it more important to protect our forces than to bring those systems back,” McKenzie said.
The US military also left behind about 70 MRAPS or Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles, 27 Humvees, which are tactical vehicles, and 73 aircrafts at the Kabul airport. This equipment was disabled, McKenzie said. A “total of 73 aircraft, those aircraft will never fly again when we left, they’ll never be operated by anyone,” McKenzie said.