After a scathing quarterly report to Congress cast more doubt on the security situation in Afghanistan, few things in the wayward country appear to be going well, except, that is, for the Afghan Air Force.
U.S. military officials in-country have lauded the growth of the Afghan airmen in the three short years since they gained strike aircraft. Officials point to the Afghans’ use of laser-guided bombs, increased close-air attack capability and growing independence as a sign of hope for the war-torn country and overtaxed ground forces.
It’s yet to be definitively seen whether the first-world air force the United States has given to a third-world country will be the boon Afghanistan desperately needs, but the progress made so far is hard to ignore.
In fact, if Resolute Support — the NATO-led mission to train, advise, and assist Afghan government forces — were to pull chocks tomorrow, and leave the country for good, the Afghan Air Force would be able to continue fighting on, according to officials who have trained and mentored the fledgling Afghan airmen.
“At the tactical level, the aviators would be able to employ just like they do every day,” Lt. Col. Justin Williams, the 438th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron commander, told Air Force Times. (end of excerpt)
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