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Afghan Air Force at Mazar-e-Sharif - Pilot interviews

06 sept. 2019 15:14

Synopsis

The Afghan Air Force in Mazar-e-Sharif, Northern Afghanistan, has grown increasingly independent, launching and completing missions on a daily basis using MD530 Helicopters and A29 Super Tucano jets.

Teaser

The Afghan Air Force in Mazar-e-Sharif, Northern Afghanistan, has grown increasingly independent, launching and completing missions on a daily basis using MD530 Helicopters and A29 Super Tucano jets.

Transcript

00:00:06 SOUNDBITE (English) Captain M. Naiem Asadi, MD530 attack helicopter pilot in the Afghan Air Force, next to his helicopter inside the hanger at Mazar-e-Sharif Airfield: “I have been in the Afghan Air Force for 4 and a half years, my total flight time hours is like 1300. I have seen a lot of change in the Afghan Air Force. The first time when I came, in 2013, we did not have that much aircraft as we do right now. In 2013, we didn’t have any fighter helicopters or fighter jets so right now we do have fighter helicopters and fighter jets in here. Other time I would fly as a co-pilot but for right now, I am flying as instructor pilot and there is a lot of increasing in the Afghan Air Force. We have a lot of instructor pilots and aircraft commanders, and two Afghan pilots flying between themselves and going on a mission and coming back. It is very important, because if the young pilots, if the young generation of Afghan people do not come join the Afghan Air Force and do not serve for their country, then we cannot move forward.” 00:01:10 SOUNDBITE (English) Chief Warrant Officer three Andrew Montenero, US Army Instructor pilot. Currently on loan to the US Airforce to teach the Afghan Air Force how to fly the MD530 Foxtrott helicopters: “I love the helicopter, that’s what originally inspired me to volunteer to come over here, it’s a great helicopter to fly. It’s a really good scout helicopter, designed for what it’s doing. A lot of the Afghans that I’ve worked with anyway have been great to fly with. I flew with a lot of the really high speed guys, the guys that really knew what they are doing, it’s been a pleasure to fly with some of those guys, especially some of the younger ones. We’re trying to let them do their own thing. We only really step in whenever there’s a safety issue, or some kind of issue that might affect whether or not they can go to launch on a mission, and then well step in and do what we can to smooth things over. They’re very open to our instructing and are essentially going through flight school in a combat zone, so they are learning a lot of the tactics that we try to instill on them on the job while they are fighting. But I’m generally impressed with their ability to go and execute missions.” 00:01:55 SOUNDBITE (English) US Air Force Major Clayton (a.k.a. Smoky) detachment commander on Mazar-e-Sharif Airfield, standing by and A29 Super Tucano. “My job entails running combat operations, or actually more along the lines of advising combat operations, for the Afghan airforce. So I´ll pick up the pilots in the morning, we´ll run through their briefing for the day, what their mission objectives are and how they‘re going to go out and attack those, and make those happen to support the Afghan ground forces and bring them back safely every day. So this is my second tour as an advisor. I was deployed last year to Kabul as an advisor for the A29s. So this is my second time I get to see the guys again. And then I had a previous deployment as an F16 pilot. It‘s been a very positive experience I‘ve gotten to train the Afghan pilots to fly its aircraft since the first day they flew them and it‘s amazing to watch them go from the first day they flew the airplane until there, in executing combat operations 100% on their own. Again, just getting to watch that complete advancement from just basic flying an aircraft to the tactical level that they‘re at this moment.“

Indicateurs média

Référence
NATO775020
Date du tournage
03 août 2017 12:00
Pays
Afghanistan
Type
B-roll