U.S. troops at Afghanistan's Bagram airfield started packing up equipment on Monday (March 25th) under preparations to withdraw from the country.

Dismantling and packing up the equipment is a huge logistical challenge because of the amount of equipment piled up in the country in more than a decade of war.

Brigadier general Steven Shapiro said some units had packed up all their equipment and were ready to return.

"So units are starting to come in right now to drop off their property and starting to go home right now. We think we'll see a bigger surge at the end of the summer but we are very confident the we have got the processes in place to do this," Shapiro said.

The United States aims to ships thousands of its military armoured vehicles and containers home by land through Pakistan.

"Most of the stuff from the north will go out through the northern routes, we are not going to move things around Afghanistan just to get them out. The Pakistan ground line of communication - or the Pakistan GLOC - is open right now," Shapiro said.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced in his State of the Union address the pull out of 34,000 troops - about half the U.S. force from Afghanistan by early 2014.

The decision brings the U.S. one step closer to wrapping up the unpopular and costly 11-year-old war but also appeared to give the White House time and flexibility before it answers bigger questions about America's exit strategy.

Presented by Adam Justice