Shindand Transformation Under Way

The construction work of airmen, along with soldiers and contractors, since last fall has nearly tripled the original size of Shindand Air Base in northwest Afghanistan. It’s now the second largest airfield in the country, behind only Bastion Field in southern Afghanistan, according to USAF air advisors. The goal is to transform Shindand into the Afghan air force’s premier base for flight training. A recently completed expansion added eight miles of perimeter fencing and an area that will be the new living and working space for more than 3,000 coalition forces and government contractors. Construction of a new 1.3-mile NATO training runway is slated to begin early next year as part of the base’s overall $500 million transformation. Col. Larry Bowers, 838th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group commander, said Shindand, where AAF Mi-17 helicopter pilots are trained, will receive 18 additional fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. (Shindand report by Lt. Col. Joe DelCampo)