KABUL, Afghanistan – Defense officials announced Afghanistan would be the newest partner nation to receive the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, sources confirmed today.
“This is a truly momentous day," said Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, commander of all NATO forces in Afghanistan. “Afghanistan’s collaboration in the F-35 program shows that the country is ready to take a leading role in defense of the free world.”
When asked how the deeply impoverished country would help pay for the trillion dollar program Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi, Chief of Staff of the Afghanistan Army, said that the Afghans have already worked out an agreement with the U.S.
"With the retirement of President Karzai approaching," Karimi said, "The $200 billion in American aid we expect to receive can now be used to pay for the project instead of padding the pockets of the Karzai family, or paying for other useless services such as education for girls.”
The Afghan government is expected to receive the F-35A (conventional aircraft) and F-35B (short take off and vertical landing, or STOVL) variants.
“We will only accept delivery of the B models once we are sure its short take off and landing features work properly. We’re not gullible idiots like the aviation generals in the U.S. Marine Corps,” added Karimi, in reference to the current problems experienced by the F-35B.
Sales of the carrier based ‘C’ model have also been discussed. “We recognize that Afghanistan currently does not have any need for carrier based airplanes. But we intend to change that in the next few years. We have already begun transferring three of our 11 Nimitz-Class carriers to the newly established Afghan Navy," said Gen. Dunford.
Afghanistan has already received four F-35As. In true Afghan style, the military has taken to using the $125 million plane for unconventional purposes. On a cool, brisk May morning, the exhaust nozzles of the planes were hooked up to no less than 25 apartment buildings, providing essential heat to hundreds of Afghan soldiers.
"Without the F-35s, my soldiers would freeze to death," said Sgt. Maj. Abdullah Ramatullah. "Sure, we have problems with carbon monoxide poisoning and the foul smell of unburnt jet fuel, but those are merely nuisances."
“In retrospect, it's pretty damn intelligent,” remarked Command Chief Master Sgt. Gustav Schroeder, a technical advisor to the Afghan military. "Before receiving the planes, the Afghans used to just take apart their RPGs and burn the explosives inside for warmth. Apart from the lack of Oxygen and CO poisoining, this is much safer. Besides, air is just a crutch, you don't need it at this high an altitude."
He continued: "When you realize we’ve spent hundreds of billions of dollars building a plane for which we still have no use for, and in three days the Afghans found some utility in the systems, it makes you think that we have a lot to learn from them.”