The Afghan Air Force on Tuesday received the second batch of UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters as efforts are underway to bolster the capabilities of the Afghan national defense and security forces.
The second batch of the helicopters was handed over during a ceremony held in Kandahar air field.
The commander of the Afghan Air Force Gen. Mohammad Shoaib welcomed the delivery of the new helicopters and said the Afghan Air Force will use the helicopters during the combat operations, mainly to supply logistics and transportation of the troops.
The NATO-led Resolute Support Mission said late in December last year that “The introduction of the Black Hawk – with nearly 160 platforms due to arrive in the next few years – is part of a massive modernization of the Afghan Air Force. This year alone, the AAF performed more than 15,000 sorties in several types of aircraft in support of army and Commando operations across Afghanistan.”
U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Lance Bunch, the director of the future operations, had earlier said that the Afghan forces conducted their combat operations through 2017 with the lowest level of support from the coalition forces in the 16-year war here, and yet has had some of the most success they’ve ever had, showing they are, in fact, leading the fight and we are there to advise and enable them.
He said “Key pieces that you’re seeing is that the Afghan Air Force itself, one of the more lethal organizations they have, and one that we’re looking to triple in size by 2023, is conducting significantly more air operations in direct support of the ANDSF on the battlefield, to the tune of 500 more sorties this year than they did the year before.”
“And so we are currently able to work with and enable the Afghan National Defense Forces as they conduct successful combat operations on the battlefield. We’re working with the Afghan Air Force to continue to build their capacity,” Gen. Bunch added.