What did the U.S. leave behind at Bagram Airfield?

·2 min read
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN_JULY 05: An Afghan National Army stands on a Humvee tank who keeps watch after the US forces left Bagram airfield in the north of Kabul, Afghanistan, on July 5, 2021. The foreigner forces left Bagram airbase after nearly 20 years. Now Afghan National Army formation set up. (Photo by Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
An Afghan soldier stands on a military vehicle on July 5, 2021, while keeping watch after U.S. forces withdrew from Bagram Airfield. (Anadolu Agency)

The U.S. left Afghanistan’s Bagram Airfield after nearly 20 years by shutting off the electricity and slipping away in the night without notifying the base’s new Afghan commander, who discovered the Americans’ departure more than two hours after they left, Afghan military officials said.

Afghanistan’s army showed off the sprawling air base Monday, providing a rare first glimpse of what had been the epicenter of America’s war to unseat the Taliban and hunt down the Al Qaeda perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

An Afghan soldier takes a selfie at the Bagram base
An Afghan soldier takes a selfie at the Bagram base after all U.S. and NATO troops withdrew. (Wakil Kohsar / Getty Images)

The U.S. announced Friday that it had completely vacated its biggest airfield in the country in advance of a final withdrawal that the Pentagon says will be completed by the end of August.

“We [heard] some rumor that the Americans had left Bagram ... and finally by 7 o’clock in the morning, we understood that it was confirmed that they had already left Bagram,” said Gen. Mir Asadullah Kohistani, Bagram’s new commander.

An Afghan helicopter takes off at the Bagram air base.
An Afghan helicopter takes off at the Bagram air base. (WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP )
Vehicles left behind at Bagram airfield.
Vehicles left behind at Bagram airfield. (Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency)
An Afghan soldier stands guard at a checkpoint near the Bagram airfield.
An Afghan soldier stands guard at a checkpoint near the Bagram airfield. (Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency)
Overview of the Bagram air base with walls and structures
The Bagram base after the U.S. withdrew. (Wakil Kohsar / Getty Images )
Mine resistant ambush protected vehicles known as MRAPs inside the Bagram base
Mine resistant ambush protected vehicles known as MRAPs were left at the Bagram base. (Wakil Kohsar / Getty Images )
Armed Afghan soldier stands guard at a gate
An Afghan soldier stands guard at the gate of a hospital facility inside the Bagram base. (Wakil Kohsar / Getty Images)
Fencing, buildings and roads at the Bagram air base
A general view of the Bagram base. (Wakil Kohsar / Getty Images )
Three Afghan soldiers sit against a battered piece of concrete.
Afghan soldiers sit at the Bagram base after the U.S. withdrawal. (Wakil Kohsar / Getty Images )
A watchtower
A watchtower at the Bagram base. (Haroon Sabawoon / Anadolu Agency )
Green cots sit in a room with concrete walls.
Afghan soldiers move a cot inside a room at the Bagram base. (Wakil Kohsar / Getty Images )
Afghan soldiers sit in a vehicle.
Afghan soldiers sit in a vehicle at the Bagram base after all U.S. and NATO troops left. (Wakil Kohsar / Getty Images )
An Afghan soldier keeps watch
An Afghan soldier keeps watch after the U.S. withdrawal from the Bagram base. (Haroon Sabawoon / Anadolu Agency )
Ammunition left at Bagram airfield.
Ammunition left at Bagram airfield. (Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency )
Safety bunkers inside the Bagram air base.
Safety bunkers inside the Bagram air base. (WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP )
The runway at Bagram air base.
The runway at Bagram air base. (WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP )

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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