Afghan Air Force Spreads its Wings

The Afghan air force continues to grow in capacity and capability as Afghan National Security Forces take the lead in the fight against insurgents in Afghanistan and NATO troops move into an advisory role, according to a release from coalition air advisors in Kabul. Following the success of a winter campaign, the AAF increased support by more than 60 percent in the first three months of 2013, airlifting more than 9,400 troops and police and more than 642,000 pounds of equipment and humanitarian supplies, states the May 13 release. “The Afghan air force’s unprecedented progress is now growing from the inside out,” said Maj. Gen. Adbdul Wardak Wahab, AAF commander. “We are employing our force as well as . . . developing it,” he said. Back in October 2012, it took 72 hours on average for the AAF to respond to an emergency call and move an Afghan wounded on the battlefield to a medical treatment facility. Currently, the response time stands at less than three hours, approaching NATO standards, states the release. (Kabul report by Capt. Anastasia Wasem)