Afghan Air Corps airlifts Commandos into the fight

By MC2 David Quillen, USN
NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan

The Afghan National Army Air Corps transported Afghan commandos into Logar Province for an air assault mission against insurgents in the largest air assault mission yet into the outer regions of Kabul on April 2.

The assault was a joint effort between an Air Corps MI-17 helicopter unit and the Afghan Sixth Kandak Commandos, along with American Special Forces. Apache, Blackhawk, and Chinook helicopter support enablers also participated.

More than 100 troops flew into the village of Babus, in the Pul-e Alam district of Afghanistan’s Logar Province, to disrupt insurgent activity in the area. Afghan and American Soldiers expected resistance but the mission concluded peacefully.

Connection with Afghan elders and senior leadership of Babus village provided intelligence and garnered support from the villagers, which could be important for future operations.

Afghan National Army Air Corps forces number 3000. Its parent command, the Afghan National Army has more than 100,000 active troops. The Afghan Ministry of Defense has a goal of reaching 134,000 troops by October.

The Afghan Air Corps has achieved several milestones, including a new flight surgeon program and flying the first operational flight of a C-27 transport plane with a predominately Afghan crew.

The air assault mission into Logar Province provided valuable mission experience for the Afghan National Army Air Corps using the MI-17 helicopter in a joint mission environment.



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