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AAF will need continued support: US

AAF will need continued support: US

Apr 24, 2013 - 12:51

WASHINGTON (PANinfo-icon): The capability of the Afghan Air Force (AAF) is limited and as such it will require continued NATOinfo-icon and US support to emerge as a strong force in the next few years, a top American general has said.

“Admittedly, Afghan air force capacity is still very limited, and it will need continued assistance from NATO to increase their capabilities to conduct missions like air surveillance, air support and mobility operations,” he said.

Major General H D Polumbo, director of the International Security Assistance Force Air Component Coordination Element, told Pentagon correspondents in a video conference from Kabulinfo-icon the early signs were encouraging.

Continued AAF development would bolster the confidence of the rest of the Afghan security forces as they increasingly met their specific security needs with their own organic capabilities, he added.

Polumbo expected the AAF to have fully operational capability by 2016. “That is exactly how we have partnered with the Afghan security forces, in particular their air force, is to be committed to that duration, to bring on these aircraft, these training mechanisms and the like.”

In the meantime, he promised, the ISAFinfo-icon mission and the NATO coalition would provide support to ANSFinfo-icon to assist ground commanders with their operations.

The Afghans were facing problems in the literacy level, he said, explaining: “I continue to emphasise … that the literacy piece is so important and the ability to read and write and communicate in English is critical to the further development of the Afghan air force.”


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