Four A-29 Super Tucano airplanes, the latest additions to the fleet of the Afghan Air Force (AAF), were welcomed in a recent handover ceremony in Kabul.
At the ceremony, in the presence of the Resolute Support (RS) Commander, General John F. Campbell, the President of the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) Mohammad Ashraf Ghani thanked the United States of America for donating the airplanes to the AAF.
"With the assistance of our international partners today we have the A-29 Super Tucano airplanes in the AAF. On behalf of my country, I am grateful to the US government. In the years ahead our AAF officers, pilots, and personnel will be able to support the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) with a modern airpower," the President said while addressing the ceremony at the AAF base in Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) in Kabul.
After completing their training, the first Afghan pilots are expected to fly the A-29 Super Tucanos in combat missions in April.
The A-29 Super Tucano is a light aircraft designed for close air support and aerial escort, and can fly in cloudy weather and target the enemy during the day and night.
Talking to Sada e Azadi, the AAF Commander, Lieutenant General Abdul Wahab Wardak entrusted the follow up of the international community in equipping the AAF. "The US will provide us another four A-29 Super Tucano airplanes by April and twelve more in the coming months," Lt. Gen. Wardak explained. "Our AAF pilots and personnel are being trained in the meantime."
"The AAF’s growing fleet including the C-130 airplanes, the A-29 Super Tucanos, the MD-530 combat helicopters, the PC-12 reconnaissance planes, and MI-25 combat and transport helicopters is a modern air power, that will continue to support the ANDSF in defending our nation and protecting our people," Lt. Gen. Wardak said.