Spartans, Instruct!

Air Force advisors from Laughlin AFB, Tex., are flying C-27A airlift missions alongside Afghan air force crews, simultaneously mentoring the Afghans, organizing the Afghans’ new unit, and conducting combat support from Kabul airport. “On one level, we are teaching the Afghan members how to set up and run a traditional, western-style airlift squadron,” said Maj. Allen Smith, who is deployed to Kabul from Laughlin’s 86th Flying Training Squadron. An Air Force instructor pilot and loadmaster advisor fly along on each mission, providing one-on-one tutoring of the Afghan crews in the course of everyday support operations in theater. “Some of the Afghan pilots we fly with have been flying for years, but they were trained in very unorthodox ways,” making instructor experience invaluable, explained Capt. Mathew Bruckner, deployed from Laughlin’s 47th Operations Group. (Laughlin report by SrA. Scott Saldukas)