The Long Recess is Over

A group of more than 200 Afghans and coalition air advisors attended the ceremony at Shindand Air Base marking the start of the first undergraduate pilot training held exclusively in Afghanistan in more than 30 years. The first class, consisting of seven Afghan air force lieutenants are pilot candidates from across Afghanistan and are already graduates from the National Military Academy as well as initial officer training held in Britain. Prior to entering the pilot training, they also studied English at the Kabul English Language Training Center. The curriculum, which will last about a year, is based around 60 hours of academic instruction and flight screening in the Cessna 182T, prior to initial flight training. Students are then broken out into rotary-wing tracks and fixed-wing tracks, with accompanying simulator and flight instruction courses. The ceremony took place on Dec. 10. (Shindand report by TSgt. Jeremy Larlee)