The NATO-led Resolute Support mission in a statement said the Afghan Air Force (AAF) will graduate its newest group of 24 pilots of fixed wing aircraft, including two female pilots, at a graduation ceremony at the Lom Praha Flight Training Center (CLV) in Pardubice, Czech Republic on June 27.
The statement said the ceremony will recognize the proficiency reached throughout the 15-month training during which students received ground and flight training as well as English training. These graduates are now qualified to operate three different kinds of fixed-wing Cessna (150, 172, 208).
They will further develop their skills through additional training in Afghanistan.
Currently the Afghan Air Force has one female pilot, but thanks to the efforts carried out by the Afghan Ministry of Defense more women have been encouraged to pursue a career in the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, including the Air Force.
Female students went through the same coursework and were held to the same standards as their male counterparts, and were able to meet and, in some areas, exceed their training goals.
"Both female fixed-wing students are progressing on schedule and to standard,” said Jiri Macola, the school’s chief instructor. "Both have proven themselves exceptional in aviation theory, English and ‘stick and rudder skills [basic flight skills].’”
During the ceremony, U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Joel Carey, who leads the NATO-led Resolute Support mission Train, Advise, and Assist Command-Air will provide remarks and award graduation certificates.
Established in 2015, Resolute Support (RS) is a NATO-led, non-combat mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), who assumed nationwide responsibility for Afghanistan’s security following the conclusion of the previous NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission. Its purpose is to help the Afghan security forces and institutions develop the capacity to defend Afghanistan and protect its citizens in a sustainable manner.