U.S. airbase in Kyrgyzstan to have less personnel

U.S. airbase in Kyrgyzstan to have less personnel

A U.S. airbase in Kyrgyzstan which serves as a key transit center for war efforts in Afghanistan will cut the level of its personnel, the center's head said Sunday.

The number of permanently-stationed personnel at the base would be reduced gradually, according to James Jacobson, commander of the base, known as the Transit Center at Manas (TSC), Xinhua reported.

Up to 50,000 troops are transited in and out of the airbase every month for the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, he told reporters.

Jacobson said although U.S. President Barack Obama has pledged to pull back 33,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2012, the exact date for the withdrawal is unknown.

The TSC, based at the Manas international airport in the capital of Kyrgyzstan, was launched in December 2001 after the 9/11 terror attacks, providing 35 percent of air refueling for the U.S.-led military mission in Afghanistan.

Under an agreement between U.S. and Kyrgyz governments, the base would be used by the U.S. military until 2014.

Also on Sunday, the TSC celebrated the U.S. Independence Day with food, music and dancing.

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