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    Afghan Air Corps: Weekly MEDEVAC Challenges



    Story by Capt. Robert Leese 

    438th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

    KABUL, Afghanistan - To the Afghan Air Corps and the Combined Air Power Transition Force, Wednesdays mean the Gardez run. No two missions are the same and the keys to missions success stem from open mindedness and a flexible approach to conducting operations.

    The “Run” could be anything from MEDEVAC, tactical resupply, Special Operation Forces movement, Distinguished Visitor transport, "Reverse MEDEVAC", transporting human remains, cargo resupply or threat reconnaissance.

    Originally, the Afghan Air Corps helicopter squadron only had one tasking, but it was early and there was plenty of time for things to change.

    The mission was a "Reverse MEDEVAC" to return an Afghan National Army member from Bagram Air Base back to his home province of Khost.

    Capt. Cassie Ayott, CAPTF flight nurse stated, "There are small issues of coordination that we are working out of the system, but overall, it was a successful mission."

    One hour before takeoff, an additional tasking was issued to transport ANA commandos from Forward Operating Base Moorehead in southern Kabul to the Logar province to conduct some joint training with their U.S. Special Forces counterparts.

    While airborne, the pilots received yet another tasking to transport some ANA Generals to an impromptu leadership meeting in Kabul later that afternoon. To complicate all of this, the 438th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron and the 377th Afghan Air Corps Rotary Wing squadron also has a responsibility to resupply the 203rd Afghan National Army Corps out of Gardez.

    What originally was one tasking quickly transformed into 3 priority missions with 2 secondary taskings.

    Afghan National Police members quickly jumped on from an Afghan base during a short stop and were taken to Kabul.

    The Distinguished Visitor movement of the ANA General from Khost to Kabul was completed and finally the air crews were done for the night.

    Lt. Col. Greg Roberts, the 438th AEAS Commander explained, “Over the past few months, the gap has gradually been bridged between the American desire to plan every detail of the mission and the Afghan nature to assist his fellow countryman in an impromptu manner. Both cultures want to accomplish the mission and also win the hearts and minds of the population.”

    The challenge here is to fill both the requirements of the ANA while at the same time, spinning up the ANAAC to a coalition standard of air operations in a country that is also a war zone.

    These types of missions are not the exception, but rather the norm for the 438th AEAS. The primary challenge is working with limited planning and competing priorities; however on a daily basis the impact these missions have spanning from MEDEVAC to resupply is invaluable to the local population.



    Date Taken: 06.10.2010
    Date Posted: 06.11.2010 07:23
    Story ID: 51209
    Location: KABUL, AF 

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