December 19, 2019 07:30 AM NPT
Two M28 Skytrucks gifted to the Nepal Army by the US in the army hangar at Kathmandu airport pictured on Wednesday. Photo: Narayan Neupane/RSS
KATHMANDU, Dec 19: The United States on Wednesday handed over two M28 Skytrucks to the Nepal Army (NA), representing the first part of one of the largest security grants to Nepal in history.
US Ambassador to Nepal Randy Berry handed over a model of the aircraft to NA Lieutenant General Sharad Giri amidst a function held at Tribhuvan International Airport on Wednesday.
A short take-off and landing (STOL) airplane, the Skytruck is one of the best-suited airplanes for Nepal’s geography. “Giving the Nepal Army the crucial ability to pre-position aircraft, these M28s will revolutionize the overall capacity of Nepal’s humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations,” said a press statement issued by the US Embassy in Kathmandu.
The two planes are the largest component of an approximately $15 million grant from the United States. Also included in the grant are successive years of spare parts, pilot and maintenance training, and support to facilitate modern maintenance management practices, according to the statement.
The United States has also pledged to provide additional M28 aircraft, as well as tailored training on demand to the Nepal Army in the coming years. “These initiatives demonstrate the collaborative and close partnership between our two countries – for strengthening Nepal’s long-term sustainability, security, and resilience,” added the statement.