Afghans Fly First Night Vision Sortie

Two experienced helicopter pilots flew the Afghan Air Force’s first goggle-assisted night vision training sortie under the watchful eye of NATO advisors Sunday. The two Mi-17 helicopters practiced hovers and basic approach patterns at Kabul International Airport, stated NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan’s release. “We have flown night missions in the past … The NVGs definitely make night flying easier,” stated one Afghan pilot after the Jan. 5 sortie. NATC advisors plan to fly several night sorties a week to give several Afghan pilots the 100 hours needed to certify as NVG instructors. “These pilots have thousands of hours of flight time; the problem is that they don’t have the NVG hours,” said Capt. Nate Jones, 438th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron instructor. “It just takes time to get use to the differences,” he added.