KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Afghan Air Force firefighters demonstrated their proficiency in a live fire training exercise on Kandahar Airfield March 15.
The recently certified firefighters were trained by the U.S. Army’s 683rd Engineering Detachment Firefighting headquarters in conjunction with U.S. Air Force’s 738 Air Expeditionary Advisory Group. The 683rd falls under Task Force Stethem which is lead by the 22 Naval Construction Regiment from Gulfport, Miss.
U.S. Navy Capt. Kathryn Donovan, the commodore of the 22 NCR, was impressed by the firefighters’ skills as well as their passion for their new career.
“This is what partnering with our Afghan counterparts is all about. I am very confident that these firefighters are capable of keeping this flight line safe after we leave,” Donovan said.
The soldiers that trained the Afghans and the leadership of Task Force Stethem are confident that their students will keep the airfield safe long after Afghanistan takes over operations within their country.
“They are up to par with us. They have passed all the standards that we pass,” said U.S. Army Spc. Christopher Minix. “Even well after we are long gone, they will
continue to perform," he said.
Staff Sgt. Jeffrey M. Jensen, the non-commissioned officer in charge of the 683rd, explained that the Afghan Air Force firefighters have expressed to him that are proud to be firefighters and able to protect their brothers.