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    Afghan Air Force Graduates First Parachute Riggers

    Afghan Air Force Riggers earn certification

    Photo By Capt. Robert Leese | Members of the Afghan Air Force Life Support flight graduate after passing all test to...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Robert Leese 

    438th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

    KABUL, Afghanistan - The first three Afghan Air Force personnel graduated and were certified as personnel parachute riggers on Nov. 10. This training was introduced because the AAF was gifted with 20 BA-22 parachutes and they required the capability to maintain and repack the parachute if they are needed to be place on the either the C-27 Spartan or AN-32 transport aircraft for aircrew safety.

    Maj. Mer Agha, AAF Life Support Flight Chief; Capt. Asef, Deputy Life Support Flight Chief and Sgt. Abdullah, Life Support Technician were the three graduates. They started the BA-22 personnel parachute training back in early June. The program is modeled of the same training as the U.S. Air Force. Each member had to pack a minimum of 15 parachutes. With each parachute packed, a new item was introduced or a problem was injected that they had to overcome from having to change an expired item or fix a malfunction such as twisted suspension lines.

    The first 12 parachutes were completed on one of two training chutes in the shop, after completing them, they moved onto live operational chutes in which they had to repack two consecutive chutes with zero discrepancies.

    The evaluation process consisted of an verbal nomenclature test over each part of the parachute, a description of all the in-process-inspections checks and they completed a repack of the BA-22 back style parachute. Once completed with zero errors, each trainee had to retie the four-line release correctly on a jig that was made for them to practice on. The final step in the evaluation is a 20 question written test.

    This certification is a new capability in the Afghan Air Force Aviation Life Support shop. It is being taught via the train the trainer concept. Now that these three AAF personnel are trained and certified, each certified riggers will each be paired with another technician in the shop to train. Not only will this allow for the knowledge to be spread throughout the shop, it will help to better retain the knowledge they have spent the last six months learning.

    Brig. Gen. Mohammad Barat, Kabul Air Wing Commander stated, “I am thankful for the advisors who taught you and thankful for your dedication to the mission. Make use of the advisors now and ask them questions, learn from them because that is why they are here.”

    The biggest challenge that was faced during the training was the language barrier. The U.S. Air Force technical order for this parachute is over 1,000 pages long. To overcome this problem, the NATC-A advisors made a book for them to use that consisted of pictures and step by step instructions in Dari and a lot of hands on practical training.

    Staff Sgt. Lee Tincher, lead advisor for the training stated, “As excited and proud I am of these three to be the first certified riggers in the Afghan Air Force, the most gratifying event will come when I evaluate the technicians that they will now be training. It will show progress in what is to be the end goal here. Afghans training Afghans and to be self sustaining. So I applaud these three now for their achievement and charge them to pass the knowledge along to the others.”



    Date Taken: 11.10.2010
    Date Posted: 11.10.2010 02:52
    Story ID: 59788
    Location: KABUL, AF 

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