Getting Afghan Air Into the Fight

USAF Brig. Gen. Walter Givhan, who has headed the Combined Air Power Transition Force in Afghanistan, told Pentagon reporters last week that his entity’s short-term goal has been to get Afghan airmen engaged in combat operations, primarily handling some mobility missions, using older Russian fixed wing aircraft and helicopters. However, he noted that the fledgling Afghan air corps is poised to achieve initial operational capability with its Mi-35 attack helicopter force, making them available to engage in air strikes. Although, Givhan said that initially they would not engage in “full-fledged, close air support type roles.” Continue