News: Afghan commandos, aviators perfect battlefield helicopter capabilities
Story by Chief Petty Officer Bill Mesta
LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan— Afghan National Army commandos from 8th Special Operations Kandak conducted a tactical training exercise with Afghan National Security Forces helicopter aircrews in Pul-E-Alam district, Logar province, Jan. 30.
The training was designed to sharpen skills needed while using Afghan helicopters, to and from the battlefield.
“This was the first time we have ever [trained] with these ANSF aircrews,” said an 8th SOK platoon leader.
The commandos conducted the training in two phases. In the first phase, they practiced entering and exiting procedures using stationary helicopters. Additionally, they practiced moving into positions to defend the aircraft during enemy attacks.
During the second phase, commandos boarded the helicopters, flew out to a remote location, and performed tactical exiting procedures in a simulated battlefield environment.
The senior 8th SOK officer, who led the training, said he was pleased with the performance of the 8th SOK members.
The officer added that he would be meeting with ANSF aviation leadership to discuss future training missions and to share ideas on ways to improve the training exercises.
“It is important that the commandos push themselves to be better every day,” he said. “We have been fighting alongside coalition forces for 13 years. It is critical that we keep improving our skills so we can continue to defeat the enemies of Afghanistan.”
The capability and effectiveness of the ANASF has progressed to the point that they now conduct most of their operations independently, improving security. By taking the responsibility for a secure Afghanistan into their own hands, ANASF continue to make progress and retain hard-won gains.