Politics | November 23, 2001, Friday // 00:00

Six US aircraft are to be hosted by Burgas airport where the first American temporary base was set up in connection with the “Endurable Freedom” operation in Afghanistan. The six KC-135 Stratotanker aerial refueling aircraft will be based in the Bulgarian Black Sea port, some 250 miles east of Sofia. At least 150 U.S. military personnel will be based in “Sarafovo” base to maintain the operation, a statement from the U.S. Embassy said. Foreign Minister Passy, General Stefan Popov, commander of the Bulgarian Air Forces, Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hess, Commander of the U.S. Third Air Force, US Ambassador to Bulgaria Richard Miles flew with the first US aircraft that arrived from Mildenhall, Great Britain. They were taken by the plane in Sofia on its way to Burgas. It is unclear how long the planes will remain in Bulgaria. Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hess, Commander of the U.S. Third Air Force in Mildenhall, said in the statement that `repositioning of aircraft often becomes necessary to ensure the safety and efficiency of the operation' in Afghanistan. Foreign Minister Passy said that Germany has demanded that German transport aircraft stay at Bulgarian territory and fly over.

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