Growth Rapid And Guided By Combined Air Power Team
The Army Air Corps in Afghanistan is growing rapidly, but it will be about eight years before the Air Corps will be able to be completely independent. The Combined Air Power Transition Force Commander talked about the positive changes in the Afghan Army Air Corps recently.
U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Jay H. Lidell spoke to reporters at the Pentagon recently about the advances and positive growth of the Afghan Air Force, but cautioned that there is a long way to go yet before they achieve self sufficiency and independence. The Afghan Air Corps has doubled its ability and capacity since October 2007. I expect it to double in the next six months of this year also, said General Lidell.
One Hundred and Thirty Three United States Servicemembers currently are tasked to assist and train personnel in the Afghan National Army. U.S. personnel are assisting the Afghanistan government establish and create an effective Afghanistan Air Force. The Afghan effort will eventually have one hundred twelve aircraft and nearly seven thousand five hundred members. Currently the Afghanistan Air Force numbers one thousand nine hundred fifty members.
The current campaign plan is for an eight-year effort to train its members, and to acquire new aircraft. The Afghanistan Air Corps is currently flying missions, but it is still small. We are well on our way toward meeting our initial goals, said General Lidell. General Lidell participated in a videoconference with the media at the Pentagon, and expressed faith and cautious optimism in the efforts so far.