By: Shukria Kohistani
The ministry of defense says that Afghan pilots are still being trained abroad, but efforts are ongoing to begin this process inside the country.
According to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), which said that the United States will stop training Afghan air force pilots by the next few months, the ministry of defense says it is trying to pave the way for pilots’ training inside the county.
The ministry’s deputy spokesperson Mohammad Zubair Arif told media that although, the Afghan pilots are still being trained in the United States, China and some other countries, but the process will be transferred to Afghanistan.
“Our pilots and training centers that were in the United States before are now in Kabul and Shindand. Many training centers have already been established in Afghanistan and a number of pilots are being trained there,” he further said.
He added currently, a number of Afghan pilots are being trained in the US, China, Slovak and UAE, but we are making effort to transfer them to the country as well.
Spending huge amount of money to train pilots abroad has been the main reason to take such a decision, he went on to say.
According to the ministry, Afghan air force enjoys almost one hundred aircrafts now.
This is while SIGAR has recently said that due to different reasons, US will stop Afghan pilots training program by 2020.
Escaping a number of Afghan pilots during trainings, recruiting trained Afghan pilots to posts opposed of their field of study have been among the issues mentioned in SIGAR’s recent report.
SIGAR says the decision has been taken based on differences in the national army and US forces’ strategy.
Although, there is not any specific information on escaping Afghan pilots during trainings, but SIGAR has earlier said that around 152 Afghan pilots have escaped training process.
Rejecting the report, the ministry of defense says that 12 pilots have not returned home after their training period finished.
But a number of military experts say that it is necessary for Afghan pilots to be trained abroad where they can be provided with needed facilities.
A military expert Abdul Bari Arez said that the defense ministry had to transfer the process inside the country.
He added that training of the Afghan pilots in the United States is very effective, because, they can’t be trained like that in Afghanistan.
According to him, as the ministry of defense has already decided about it, thus, it should make effort to establish advanced training centers in secure areas so Afghan pilots can be professionally trained there.