Afghan National Army Air Corps personnel last week flew their first medical evacuation mission, transporting via a Mi-17 helicopter an Afghan national from the Craig Joint Theater Hospital at Bagram Airfield to FOB Lightening, Gardez, from which the patient went to a local medical facility. Accompanying the Afghan airmen were members of the 438th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group who had mentored them. The historic event took 2.5 months to coordinate, but USAF medic MSgt. Richard Kramer, one of the mentors, called this “the first step for the Afghans to gain some independence and become part of the coalition to help us out.” Kramer said, too, “The [Afghan] medics come to us with basic ANA medical training under their belt; we try to build on what they know by teaching them how to do care in the air.” (Bagram report by SSgt. Richard Williams)
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.