Afghan Air Force to start using Black Hawks

The UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters will start operations in support of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces as at least 60 Afghan Air Force personnel have fully completed their training for the historic operations debut.

“A historic day for the Afghan Air Force today, Afghanistan’s first UH-60 Black Hawk mission-qualified crews graduated. Tomorrow, they begin operations in support of Afghanistan’s national security and defense,” according to a short statement posted online by the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.

“The introduction of the UH-60 marks the dawning of a new age for the Afghan Air Force,” said United States Air Force Brig. Gen. Phillip Stewart, Train, Advise and Assist Command-Air commander.

According to the Resolute Support Mission, Gen. Stewart was joined after graduation by Maj. Gen. Abdul Raziq Sherzai, Kandahar Air Wing commander, and Maj. Gen. Mohammad Shoaib, Afghan Air Force commander.

The UH-60 is a capable, versatile, combat proven aircraft that will enhance the war fighting capabilities of the Afghan Air Force.

This comes as efforts are underway to boost the capabilities of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), specifically the Afghan Air Force.