Maintenance advisers certify first-ever AAF expediter

  • Published
  • By Capt. Jamie Humphries
  • 438th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
Maintenance advisers recently certified the first Afghan air force flightline expediter at Kandahar Air Wing.

A direct maintenance commander delegate on the flightline and an expediter is responsible for efficiently utilizing manning and resources to effectively execute the flight schedule agreed upon by both maintainers and operators.

Advisers said the new capability will ensure better on time takeoffs and flightline management and will be beneficial because there will now be a central focal point directing unity of effort.

"Having an expediter represents a paradigm shift on the part of leadership, insofar as relinquishing control is concerned," said Carl Snider of the 738th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group. "It would have been unheard of just a few months ago for the commander to vest this much control in his younger officers. This is where the advisers' expertise comes in not just negotiating and advising that this is what is best for the Afghan air force, but also as representation of the responsibility our leadership vests in us."

The process of training a flightline expediter began when maintenance advisers first met with Afghan air force commanders and explained the benefits of the new position and how the person could enhance the flying mission. Afghan air force leaders agreed and selected 1st Lt. Shukrullah who then spent two weeks in training, which entailed prioritizing maintenance and keeping and reporting aircraft status.

"We are trying to build not only capability but capacity within the Afghan air force," Snider said. "We don't just want them to have the capability to fix and launch aircraft. We want to build the capacity to maintain and launch aircraft on time. This is a step toward that goal of an independent Afghan air force, although still a ways off it's little victories like these that we hope ultimately put us out of a job over here."

Recently, with coalition adviser support, Afghan airmen began post-phase functional-check flight training in an effort to further professionalize the Afghan air force at KAW explained maintenance professionals.

Having expediter capability, as well the introduction of post-phase functional check flight capabilities, will continue to improve maintenance operations and has already improved mission-capable rate by 11 percent in one month and 35 percent since September, Snider said.

"We continue to improve and make progress in the maintenance field," Snider said. "Our Afghan air force members are working hard and I'm proud of their effort. We will continue to make strides and hopefully the AAF airmen will continue towards a process of self reliance."