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By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Afghan Air Force
The Afghan Air Force (Pashto:دافغانستان هوايۍ قوا ; Persian: قوای هوایی افغانستان), formerly the Afghan National Air Force, is a branch of the military of Afghanistan that is responsible for air defense and air warfare. It is divided into three wings, with the 1st Wing at Kabul, the 2nd Wing at Kandahar and the 3rd Wing south at Shindand in western Afghanistan. Lt. Gen. Mohammad Dawran serves as Chief of Staff of the Afghan Air Force. The command center of the Afghan Air Force (AAF) is located at Kabul International Airport and the Shindand Air Base in Herat Province serves as the main training area. - Source: Wikipedia
NATO intends to refine its ambitious plan to train a fully functional Afghan air force and focus only on the most critical military capabilities needed after the combat mission ends by December 2014, according to the head of the Afghan air training command for the Western alliance.
Some U.S. combat forces will need to remain in Afghanistan after NATO's mission ends in 2014, top commanders in the war-ravaged country say as they await guidance from the president on how many U.S. troops will remain as part of a training and advising operation.
Like paying for a car repair you don't need, the Army dished out $8 million for helicopter parts it wasn't going to use, the service's own investigators say.
With only 18 months left to go before NATO ends its combat mission and much of its air support, coalition trainers are teaching the Afghan air force how to fly and maintain aircraft, and secure airfields as fast and as much as they can before coalition combat troops leave, along with much of its air power.
The Afghan air force is far from ready to take over full combat responsibilities from NATO, as well as other key functions that support a modern air force.
It will take nearly five years for the Afghan Air Force to become fully capable of flying all types of missions, but some of its pilots are testing out the skies today.
The Afghan Air Force's first female pilot to be trained inside Afghanistan in more than 30 years earned her flying wings on Tuesday, after graduating from Undergraduate Pilot Training.
In southwestern Afghanistan, this reporter for The Washington Times recently hitched a ride on a helicopter manned by Afghans, including the pilot and two door gunners, as well as U.S. military personnel.
U.S. and British drones will maintain operations over Afghanistan long after most international ground troops have left the country after 2014, NATO's most senior air officer in country said Tuesday.