Afghan C-27 Pilot Cadre Grows

The Afghan National Army Air Force’s 373rd Fixed Wing Squadron, a C-27 transport unit, doubled its pool of pilots on July 3 with the addition of three new graduates of initial pilot qualification training. USAF Col. Kenneth Madura, commander of the 438th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group that trains the Afghans, presented certificates to the three new pilots during a ceremony in Kabul. The pilots completed 60 hours of academics and 55 hours of initial pilot qualification. Flight qualification included activities like flying in normal and emergency visual flight rules patterns and nighttime precision and non-precision instrument approaches. These pilots will now fly operational missions throughout Afghanistan over the next several months. They will then begin the transition to becoming aircraft commanders. As of early June, the fledgling Afghan air arm had five of its 20-planned C-27s in place. (Kabul report by Capt. Rob Leese)