Karshi-Khanabad Air Base
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Karshi-Khanabad Air Base
|Elevation AMSL||1,365 ft / 416 m|
From 1954 to 1981, the 735th Fighter Aviation Regiment of the Soviet Air Defence Force was stationed at the base. It was equipped with Mig-15 (July 1950 – 1955), MiG-17 (1955-1969), and then Sukhoi Su-9 (Fishpot) aircraft (1961-1978).. The regiment replaced the Su-9 in 1978 with the MiG-23M (Flogger-B).
In 1981 it was renamed the 735th Fighter-Bomber Aviation Regiment, and in 1984 the 735th Bomber Aviation Regiment. Until 1984 the regiment was equipped with the MiG-23M, and from 1984-1992 with the Su-24. The regiment was under control of the Air Forces of the Turkestan Military District from April 1980 to May 1988, and then under 49th Air Army and 73rd Air Army.
On June 30, 1992, control of the base passed from the dissolved Soviet Union to Uzbekistan. From 1992 changes began to affect the regiment before it was merged with other units into the 60th Separate Mixed Aviation Brigade.
Between 2001 and 2005 the United States Army, Air Force and Marine Corps used the base, also known as K2 and "Stronghold Freedom", for support missions against al-Qaeda in neighbouring Afghanistan. The 416th Air Expeditionary Operations Group was the host unit. On July 29, 2005, amid strained relations caused by the May 2005 unrest in Uzbekistan, the United States was told to vacate the base within six months. It was vacated by the United States in November 2005.
Numerous United States Armed Forces veterans who served at the base while it was used by the U.S. military have claimed to have developed cancers and other ailments due to environmental contamination at the site. A "black goo" was described oozing out of the soil, appearing to be a mixture of solvents, oils and other chemicals. Noxious vapors were also reported, along with radiation warning signs and a nearby pond that glowed green. Rainwater would reportedly flood tents and appeared contaminated with various chemicals. The United States Department of Veteran's Affairs and U.S. Army Public Health Center have both denied that an increased rate of cancers exists or that any contamination at the base posed any serious health problems. The US military did, however, take steps to reduce possible sources of contamination. These steps were criticized as ineffective by veterans.
- Airport information for UTSL from DAFIF (effective October 2006)
- Airport information for Karshi-Khanabad, Uzbekistan (UTSL / KSQ) at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective October 2006).
- Michael Holm, '735th Bomber Aviation Regiment', accessed August 2011
- PHASEOUT OF FISHPOT IN APVO STRANYY AIRFIELDS USSR, February 1981, CREST: CIA-RDP81T00380R000100980001-5, Central Intelligence Agency, Washington, DC.
- "US asked to leave Uzbek airbase". BBC News. July 30, 2005.
- "Last US plane leaves Uzbek base". BBC News. November 21, 2005.
- "Ceremony to close US military base held in Uzbekistan". RIA Novosti. November 21, 2005.
- Tara Copp, " Cancers strike veterans who deployed to Uzbek base where black goo oozed, ponds glowed ", Impact 2020, December 19th, 2019
- " Environmental Conditions at Karshi Khanabad (K-2) Air Base, Uzbekistan ", U.S. Army Public Health Center, Accessed December 19th, 2019