Liberty Aircraft Is “a Godsend”

That’s how Brig. Gen. Steven Kwast describes the MC-12W Liberty Project Aircraft, which have operated in Afghanistan since late last year. In talking with reporters via videoconference Tuesday, the commander of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, explained that the MC-12 intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance turboprop aircraft “brings something we have not had before in the way it latches so many capabilities together.” It provides real-time full-motion video and signals intelligence directly to ground forces. Kwast said, “I cannot tell you how happy the ground force commanders are to have that capability here,” and noted, too, that “it’s saving lives every time it flies.” Kwast refrained from discussing how many MC-12s currently are in Afghanistan, but Air Force officials have said the service plans to have 24 there later this year. (Transcript of videoconference)