News: Kandahar Air Wing, CAB aviation mechanics bond
Story by Sgt. Daniel Schroeder
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - At the Afghan maintenance hangar, airmen with the Afghan air force received some critical training in aircraft structural repair maintenance from B Company, 209th Aviation Support Battalion, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade.
The joint maintenance training was performed in order to build upon the skill and experiences of Afghan soldiers with the goal for them gaining enough experience to one day perform maintenance independently.
“It is really good to work with the coalition forces,” said Afghan Capt. Saed Habib Rahman, Kandahar Air Wing, AAF. “After today, I can continue to perform aircraft maintenance and be more proficient with sheet metal repairs.”
During this training session, Rahman and Afghan Pvt. Mawen got hands-on experience with fixing a crack in sheet metal by creating a patch.
“The Kandahar Air Wing mechanics have come a long way from where they started,” said Air Force Staff Sgt. David Bradley, aircraft structural maintenance advisor assigned to 738th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group. “They are eager to learn the skills we are teaching. They listen to our suggestions and learn at a quick pace.”
The focus of this training was to demonstrate the technique to use when repairing a crack in the sheet metal. During the training, the mechanics were taught how to stop the crack from spreading, to select the appropriate hardware and materials, and to apply a patch to the defective area.
“I now know how to cut steel, measure the correct dimensions, drill, and make a patch on the sheet metal,” said Rahman. “The coalition forces have a lot of experience and knowledge. I am glad to receive assistance from them.”
Although the Afghan mechanics have received training from other coalition soldiers, this is the first time the 25th CAB has had the opportunity to work with the Kandahar Air Wing mechanics.
“The mechanics were very engaged during this session,” said 1st Sgt. Lester Day, B Company first sergeant, 209th ASB, 25th CAB. “They are becoming familiar with the tools of the trade, communicating with one another, asking questions on every area, and showed how eager they are to learn. It is a privilege to be able to work with them.”
The training event was one more step toward building confidence and independence in the soldiers of Afghan air force.
“[Coalition forces] continue to build a stable foundation for the Afghan forces so they can one day comfortably take over operations and security of Afghanistan,” said Day.