Afghan Air Force Flies First C-130H Mission

Just one day after receiving its first two C-130H airplanes, the Afghan air force conducted its first C-130H operational mission, according to NATO air advisors in Kabul. Advisors accompanied the AAF’s first two C-130 pilots on the flight from Kabul International Airport to Kandahar Airfield on Oct. 10, bringing several pallets of main landing gear parts for Mi-17 helicopters, along with maintenance gear and office supplies for the AAF’s Kandahar Air Wing, according to an Oct. 13 release from the advisors. “The fact that we already have the C-130s flying . . . is a big step,” said Maj. Chris Garcia, a coalition advisor. The C-130s will be the mainstay of AAF airlift capability. Before their arrival, the Afghans relied on C-208s and Mi-17s for aerial transport. “Today’s mission went very well. That’s a very good sign for Afghanistan and building the Afghan air force,” said AAF Col. Almal Pacha, one of the Afghan C-130 pilots. (Kabul report by Capt. Anastasia Wasem)