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    Afghan Air Force support opening of new Afghan Parliament

    Afghan Air Force support opening of new Afghan Parliament

    Courtesy Photo | The Afghan Air Force forward staged the Mi-35 to provide a rapid response security...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Robert Leese 

    438th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

    KABUL, Afghanistan - On the day that Afghan President Hamid Karzai inaugurated the National Assembly, the Afghan Air Force was there to support the country by providing the president with safe and effective transportation to the opening of the new Parliament.

    The AAF was instrumental in providing for a free and democratic parliamentary election nearly three months ago. Today, we observed the culmination of these efforts in the inauguration of those elected. Today, the Afghan Air Force secured the skies above Kabul during the ceremony.

    Lt. Col. Greg Roberts, the NATO Air Training Command – Afghanistan/438th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron commander explained, “It was a privilege to be involved in an Afghan-led endeavor fueled by a sense of national pride.”

    Multiple aircraft were used from the various AAF squadrons. These aircraft contained special configured Mi-17 variants and Mi-35 attack helicopters in a unified effort to support the inauguration. The mission types performed included armed escort, VIP transport and reconnaissance. The AAF exhibited mission flexibility in the forward staging of the Mi-35 providing a rapid response security force from the mountains overlooking Kabul.

    This training to stage in austere locations was led by Maj. Kurt Geisen, NATC-A Mi-35 advisor.

    Roberts explains, “The work of Major Geisen over the last few months has brought the AAF to a position that they can execute critical missions such as this.”

    Furthermore, this integrated effort between the International Security Assistance Force and AAF air assets represents a step forward in combined security efforts in Afghanistan. The developing trust between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the AAF is evident as we see more of these high-profile, increased risk flights--a testament to the progress the AAF is making towards independent operations as they simultaneously prepare for future contingencies.



    Date Taken: 01.26.2011
    Date Posted: 01.28.2011 05:12
    Story ID: 64367

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