Afghan Airpower—Role Determined, Aircraft Unknown

Close air support, counterinsurgency, and airlift are the envisioned roles for the resurrected and growing Afghan air force, says Brig. Gen. David Allvin, who heads NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan. “The idea of having to maintain air sovereignty over their airspace is really not something that the Afghan air force is built or resourced to do,” explained Allvin Thursday during a media telecon. Rather, he continued, the air arm is “primarily” there to support the Afghan army “in today’s counterinsurgency fight and those sort of potentialities in the future.” Although Afghanistan’s “advanced fixed-wing aircraft” has not been selected yet, its role is already well defined, he said. “The real mission is fixed-wing CAS and some light attack,” he asserted. He added, “That’s the primary mission right now,” but “we haven’t nailed down exactly what kind of aircraft it’s going to be.”