The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Afghan Air Force continues to grow in size & capability

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Afghan security officials say US and other NATO member countries are to continue supporting Afghan National Army (ANA) in particular the Afghan Air Force (AAF).
Afghanistan army chief of staff Gen. Mohammad Sharif Yaftali says US manages the Afghan air space with Black Hawk helicopters, MD 530, C208 and other airplanes rather than fighter jets and considers such kind of planes as sufficient and effective for victory in war on terrorism in Afghanistan.
“The NATO member countries will support Afghan national army up to the year 2020 and the U.S. will particularly supports the Afghan air forces. Currently, Afghan air forces can defend the country’s space sanctum with the strategic agreement that we have with the U.S.,” Yaftali added.
He said that Afghan Air Forces still needs further training in maintenance section and training of engineers and technicians despite support of US and NATO from the Afghan air force.
NATO member countries in particular the United States wants to grow and shape the Afghan Air Force into a professional air arm. This growth has already started but is going to continue in the future.
According to AAF officials, Afghanistan government will triple the size of the Afghan Air Force with the support of NATO member countries in particular the US, but this has to include more than an increase in quantity.
Afghan military experts believe that AAF seriously needs to be further trained and advised and NATO member countries particularly the US should support Afghanistan national defense and security forces until they fully stand on their feet.
“Further support and equipment of Afghan national defense and security forces can make the forces stronger against the enemy,” an Afghan military expert Amir Mohammad said.
He says Afghanistan is among countries suffering from terrorism; therefore, counter terrorism needs joint determination and cooperation of the world in particular NATO and US to root out the phenomenon at any parts of the world particularly Pakistan.
Javed Kohistani, another Afghan military expert, says it is definitely better that Afghan national defense and security forces are equipped and financially supported beyond 2020.
“I think the more Afghan national defense and security forces are equipped with modern military equipment, the more they can address terrorist threats posed by the Taliban and Daesh groups in Afghanistan,” Kohistani asserted.
He added that Afghanistan government should make use of the current opportunity provided by NATO member countries and US for training and mentoring Afghan national defense and security forces.
It is worth mentioning that the centerpiece of Afghan air power are the Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 Super Tucano, the MD-530 light attack helicopter and some modified Cessna C208 Caravans—and their fleet is set to expand. Right now, the Afghan Air Force has A-29s, MD 350 light helicopters, Black Hawk helicopters, C-130 Hercules, Mi 17, Mi 35 and Cessna C208 Caravans.
Suraya Raiszada

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.