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‘AAF making progress; challenges still remain’

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: The pentagon’s inspector general has said US and coalition forces made progress in training the Afghanistan Air Force (AAF), but that work still needed to be done concerning strategic planning and other logistical and maintenance requirements, according to a media report on Saturday.

The report, released on Thursday, noted that the AAF has garnered “notable accomplishments.” “Using Embraer-made a-29 super tucanos, the Afghans have made progress in aircraft mission performance, night-vision capabilities, and air-ground integration between the air force and the afghan national army.”

It added that the train, advise, assist command-air, or TAAC-air, mission that developed the afghan air force did not yet have a strategic plan for development of the force into a “professional, capable, and sustainable” military branch.

The report went on to say that TAAC-air did not have the ability to track the afghan air force’s progress because they had not “defined the intended end state and related metrics for determining the capabilities and capacities of the afghan air force.”

Additionally, TAAC-air did not effectively plan with other support agencies, with the inspector general warning that the gap in planning could result in the “inefficient and ineffective use of US and coalition adviser train, advise, and assist efforts.”

Recommendations in the report included improving contract awards and tracking mechanisms for both logistical and maintenance operations in order to aid the progression for eventual turning over to afghan air force maintainers.

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