Tuesday, October 4, 2022

US Commandos make history with highway landings in Latvia

A U.S. Special Operations Command aircraft has been operating from a strip of highway in Latvia, for the first time.

On the night of May 10-11, C-146A Wolfhound special operations transport belonging to the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command landed and took off on the A9 two-lane highway near Biksti, in western Latvia.

This is the first time a plane has landed on a highway in Latvia.

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The C-146A is a twin-engine, high-wing aircraft equipped with a configurable cabin capable of various passenger and cargo combinations, as well as casualty evacuation missions. The aircraft can carry a maximum of 27 passengers, 6,000 pounds of cargo, or up to four litter patients.

The wingspan of the Wolfhound is 21 meters, whereas the width of the road is 8.5 meters. To facilitate the landing, several road signs were removed so the wings would not hit them.

The plane landing takes place as part of the annual U.S. special operations forces training exercise ‘Trojan Footprint’. The training is part of a focus on dispersed operations, which would be expected to play a central role in any future peer conflict.

Image by Latvian National Armed Forces
Image by Latvian National Armed Forces

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.

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