Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev said Wednesday that he is reserving the right to shut down the USAF-operated Manas Air Base if the US does not renegotiate the contract on the facility’s use. According to Reuters news service, Bakiyev expects a satisfactory end to rent negotiations by June 1. Just last fall, Bakiyev told US officials that the US military could continue to use the base until the situation in Afghanistan stabilized. At the same time, he said the rent would go up.
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S. The bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.