DoD IG: Afghan Attack Pilots are Helping Turn the Tide for Troops on the Ground

DoD IG: Afghan Attack Pilots are Helping Turn the Tide for Troops on the Ground by Kyle Rempfer - Military Times

Less than two years after flying its first combat mission, the Afghan Air Force’s A-29 Super Tucano aircraft are playing a key role in supporting Afghan soldiers on the ground.

“When they show up overhead, the Afghan National Army have the confidence to continue attacking on ground,” the deputy commander for Train, Advise and Assist Command-South said in a new Defense Department Inspector General report.

Absent sufficient air coverage, Afghan security forces who had grown reliant on coalition air power suffered a series of defeats to the Taliban. Building a native air strike capability within the Afghan Air Force is the key to Afghan success in the future, Army Gen. John Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee in February 2017.

“Close air support and aerial mobility are the most critical remaining gaps that need to be addressed,” Nicholson said. “At the tactical level, the [Afghan National Army] needs to improve its integration of fires and air power.”

In its report, the DoD IG praised the Afghan Air Force for the progress it has made…

Read on.

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