Afghan Air Force Conducts First C-208 Casualty Evacuation

An Afghan air force Cessna 208 last week successfully transported a seriously injured soldier and three minor casualties from Kandahar, Afghanistan, to Kabul International Airport, marking the first time an AAF C-208 transported a litter patient, according to US air advisors. “This is adding a capability that will increase the morale, not only in the Afghan air force, but in the entire Afghan National Security Forces,” said Col. Michael Paston, 438th Air Expeditionary Wing surgeon general, in a Feb. 15 wing release. “It provides Afghans with a sense of security to know that if hurt on the battlefield, they will be taken care of quickly,” he added. Maj.Gen. Abdul Wahab, AAF commander, said the move validated the casualty evacuation concept of operations plan that the Afghans concluded with the NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan. That plan calls for the AAF to independently conduct CASEVAC operations by 2017, states the release. “We achieved an important milestone in our AAF/NATC-A strategic flight plan,” said Wahab of the Feb. 11 mission. (Kabul report by Capt. Anastasia Burgess) (See also Improving Afghan Casualty Evacuation.)