The Defense Department is preparing to leave Kyrgyzstan, where crews from Fairchild Air Force Base have flown thousands of combat refueling missions over Afghanistan since the start of the war.
The Defense Department said Monday it will vacate Manas Transit Center by July rather than attempt to negotiate a lease extension with Kyrgyzstan for use of the base.
The Spokesman-Review says the transit center serves as a staging point for aerial refueling missions and as a northern air supply route into Afghanistan for troops and equipment.
The move follows a vote by Kyrgyzstan's parliament to end the lease when the current term expires next summer.
The Defense Department says refueling operations will be moved to an unspecified base in southwest Asia.