The fledgling Afghan National Army Air Corps on April 2 staged its largest air assault to date. An ANAAC Mi-17 helicopter and Afghan commandos worked with US special operations forces and Army Apache, Blackhawk, and Chinook helicopters to infiltrate the village of Babus in the outer regions of Kabul. Although upwards of 20 insurgents were thought to be in the area, no resistance was encountered and the mission turned out to be peaceful. Still it was considered a success for building rapport with the Babus local elders and gathering intelligence from the villagers. This air assault is one of the ANAAC’s accomplishments so far this year as it grows in numbers and capability under the guidance of US Air Force and other NATO advisors. Others include establishing a flight surgeon program and commencing C-27 transport operations. (Kabul report by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class David Quillen)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.