The Free Press, Mankato, MN


Afghanistan US Russia Copter Deal-6

This handout photo provided by the US Army, taken Nov. 12, 2013, shows a CH-47 Chinook helicopter from 3rd Battalion (General Support), 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, Task Force Phoenix, making its approach into the forward arming and refueling point to refuel at Forward Operating Base Fenty, Afghanistan. To outfit Afghanistan's security forces with new helicopters, the Pentagon bypassed U.S. companies and turned instead to Moscow for dozens of Russian Mi-17 rotorcraft at a cost of more than $1 billion. Senior Pentagon officials assured skeptical members of Congress they'd made the right call, pointing repeatedly to a top-secret 2010 study they said named the Mi-17 as the superior choice. (AP Photo/Capt. Peter Smedberg, US Army)