Support Key to Solidifying Afghan Progress

Afghan security forces have taken on the overwhelming majority of military operations in the country; however, gaps still exist in capabilities and logistics operations, according to the Defense Department’s twice-yearly report on security and stability in Afghanistan. The Afghan National Security Forces conduct 95 percent of conventional military operations and 98 percent of special operations in Afghanistan, states the November report. The only unilateral operations the International Security Assistance Force conducts are force protection, route clearance, and redeployment activities. However, the ANSF still will require “substantial train, advise and assist mentoring—as well as financial support” following the 2014 withdraw of US and coalition combat forces, states the report. Afghan air capabilities also lag behind other developments, states the report. The Afghan Air Force has reached initial operational capability for its Mi-17, Mi-35 and C-208 aircraft, but IOC for the C-130 and the A-29 is not expected until 2016. The AAF can execute operations and disaster relief, but its ability to generate sorties is affected by maintenance backlogs. Logistics and maintenance continue to be a “major challenge” for the AAF, states the report. (DOD report; caution, large file)