🇦🇫 Afghan ✈️ air force builds strength, experience | NATO and Afghanistan

Afghan soldiers and civilians often remark
that the country needs more military aircraft. Slowly but surely, this need is being met. “The power that the Afghan military once had
was lost. So we started again at zero. But thank God, we now have powerful, experienced,
and very well-trained personnel. Helicopters are considered essential in the
fight against insurgents in Afghanistan’s rugged terrain. And large transport planes
will greatly enable nationwide logistical support. As the Afghan military is now leading
the fight, with foreign forces drawing down into training and assistance roles, an empowered
Afghan Air Force is necessary. “The fact is that every country and community
demands—and it is a justified demand—to have a strong national security force, including
an air force. But building up the air force has taken time. “It’s growing up in small steps right now.
We have choppers, we have Cessna 2-8s, and right now, the biggest airplane we have right
now is a C-130.” Captain Shinwari has wanted to be a pilot
since he was 10 years old, and now he and another Afghan will be the first to fly the
C-130. “I was always thinking like, it would be really
fun to be the youngest Afghan Air Force pilot and fly the biggest airplane” At the moment they are still in training,
but expect to fly with an all-Afghan crew by the end of May. But the helicopters already fly operations
with all-Afghans. “Most of the missions are done by Afghan crews,
alone. Like, right now, in helicopter, we are all doing the missions by ourselves—all
Afghan pilots.” The Afghan helicopters, MI-35 gunships and
MI-17 transports, are used heavily in operations around the country. At a recent exercise in Kabul, Afghan air
capabilities were demonstrated. In some cases, attack helicopters provided overwatch while
insurgents were engaged on the ground. In other cases, the transports dropped fast-roping
troops close to enemy compounds. Servicing aircraft in Afghanistan is challenging.
For example, helicopter maintenance teams must respond to both hot and cold climate
areas, which exist in Afghanistan simultaneously. “Our workshop is equipped with cold and hot
weather equipment and we have an equipment laboratory. We fix any problem with the aircraft
body, if necessary.” At the moment 13 countries are contributing
to the NATO Air Training Command initiative in Afghanistan, with 2017 as the target date
for a self-sufficient Afghan Air Force. Jeff Holden, with Laurence Cameron in Kabul,
Afghanistan, for NATO Channel.

15 Replies to “🇦🇫 Afghan ✈️ air force builds strength, experience | NATO and Afghanistan”

  1. Afghan pilots are adding a great deal of capability to the Afghan war effort. The first two C-130 pilots are scheduled to fly solo by the end of May, and already choppers are running missions with all-Afghan crews.


  2. I'm so happy that all the hard works are paying off! And I'm happy to see that Afghanistan is rebuilding itself. Thanks to all the countries that contributed to this mission.

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