Improving Afghan Casualty Evacuation

The Afghan air force and NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan are working to improve the Afghans’ ability to evacuate Afghan battlefield casualties, according to a release from coalition air advisors. The commanders of both organizations signed two operational decrees on Jan. 23 at NATC-A headquarters in Kabul aimed at improving air response by the AAF’s new Cessna C-208 fleet and its Mi-17 helicopters for transporting wounded members of the Afghan security forces and for the dignified transfer of fallen Afghans. “These air support missions are critical to campaign success, augmenting ground CASEVAC resources when needed,” said Brig. Gen. Steven Shepro, NATC-A commander, in the command’s Jan. 25 release. The decrees offer guidance to aircrews and streamline command, control, and communications across security organizations, states the release. The Afghans’ C-208s currently accommodate up to eight ambulatory patients. Planned modifications will allow them to transport four litter patients and two additional ambulatory patients, states the release. “The AAF’s recent progress in these priority missions has been significant,” said Shepro.