HomeNewsArticle Display

First Afghan UH-60 pilots graduate

An Afghan Air Force pilot receives a certificate during a UH-60 Black Hawk Aircraft Qualification Training graduation ceremony at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Nov. 20, 2017. The pilot is one of six to be the first AAF Black Hawk pilots. The first AAF Black Hawk pilots are experienced aviators coming from a Mi-17 background. For future Black Hawk pilots the UH-60 flight training is approximately 16 weeks long, six weeks for Aircraft Qualification Training (AQT) and 10 weeks for Mission Qualification Training (MQT).  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Veronica Pierce)

An Afghan Air Force pilot receives a certificate during a UH-60 Black Hawk Aircraft Qualification Training graduation ceremony at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Nov. 20, 2017. The pilot is one of six to be the first AAF Black Hawk pilots. The first AAF Black Hawk pilots are experienced aviators coming from a Mi-17 background. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Veronica Pierce)

Afghan Air Force pilots display their certificates after a UH-60 Black Hawk Aircraft Qualification Training graduation ceremony at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Nov. 20, 2017. The six pilots are the first AAF Black Hawk pilots, is part of a larger modernization program. The Afghan Air Force will more than double their fleet of aircraft over the next seven years. Plans include the introduction of AC-208 attack aircraft and UH-60 Black Hawk assault helicopters, and additional A-29 attack aircraft and MD-530 attack helicopters to the force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Veronica Pierce)

Afghan Air Force pilots display their certificates after a UH-60 Black Hawk Aircraft Qualification Training graduation ceremony at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Nov. 20, 2017. The six pilots are the first AAF Black Hawk pilots, which is part of a larger modernization program. The Afghan Air Force will more than double their fleet of aircraft over the next seven years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Veronica Pierce)

Afghan Air Force Maj. Gen. Abdul Raziq Sherzai, Kandahar Air Wing commander, addresses the first AAF UH-60 Black Hawk pilots during an Aircraft Qualification Training graduation ceremony at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Nov. 20, 2017. The six pilots are the first to transition from the Mi-17 Hip, as part of a lager modernization program. The AAF is expecting to have four qualified crews by fighting season 2018, and 32 crews by fighting season 2019.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Veronica Pierce)

Afghan Air Force Maj. Gen. Abdul Raziq Sherzai, Kandahar Air Wing commander, addresses the first AAF UH-60 Black Hawk pilots during an Aircraft Qualification Training graduation ceremony at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Nov. 20, 2017. The six pilots are the first to transition from the Mi-17 Hip, as part of a lager modernization program. The AAF is expecting to have four qualified crews by fighting season 2018, and 32 crews by fighting season 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Veronica Pierce)

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (AFNS) -- Six Afghan Air Force members became the first ever AAF UH-60 Black Hawk pilots, after graduation from Aircraft Qualification Training during a ceremony at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Nov. 20, 2017.

Train, Advise, Assist Command-Air advisors and Afghan Air Force leaders were in attendance to congratulate the pilots during this historic ceremony.

“I am happily announcing that today a new page is opening in Afghanistan Air Force life,” said Maj. Gen. Abdul Raziq Sherzai, Kandahar Air Wing commander. “In the past years, due to civil wars, our Air force capabilities reached to almost zero. Today we can see, that we are not far from standing on our own feet.”

This endeavor is part of a larger modernization program. The Afghan Air Force will more than double their fleet of aircraft over the next seven years. Plans include the introduction of AC-208 attack aircraft and UH-60 Black Hawk assault helicopters, along with additional A-29 attack aircraft and MD-530 attack helicopters.

The first AAF Black Hawk pilots are experienced aviators coming from a Mi-17 background, making the transition from one rotary wing aircraft to another virtually seamless. The six graduates volunteered to be the first to make the shift.

“Today I'm very excited that it is my graduation day,” said AAF Capt. Jamshid Rezaye. “I cannot express my feeling right now, because I get to serve the Afghan people.”

For future Black Hawk pilots, the UH-60 flight training is approximately 16 weeks long, six weeks for Aircraft Qualification Training and 10 weeks for Mission Qualification Training.

The AAF is expecting to have four qualified crews by fighting season 2018, and 32 crews by fighting season 2019.

Fourteen UH-60 pilots will train at Fort Rucker, Ala., in 2018 with an additional 21 in 2019, and 25 in following years.

Individuals are selected for pilot training based on their qualifications and position vacancies. The two main individual qualifications include flight physicals and English language ability.

The transition of airframe for the AAF pilots will provide firepower and mobility, significant offensive factors enabling the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces to break the stalemate against insurgents.

Advisors from TAAC-Air will work with contract support to oversee continuation training in country. TAAC-Air leverages train, advise and assist activities in concert with strong personal relationships, to create professional Afghan Airmen capable of planning, leading, employing and sustaining decisive airpower operations.

“As TAAC-Air we look for three things: capable, sustainable and professional. The Mi-17 is no longer sustainable as it is becoming obsolete,” said Lt. Col. Trenton Alexander, 441st Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron commander. “The UH-60 is sustainable, [allowing] us to meet our three tiers of capable, sustainable, and professional.”

AAF modernization is essential for increasing AAF competence, instruction and education with merit-based advancement of its best leaders. Modernization of the Afghan Air Force will mitigate gaps in Afghan aerial fires and lift capabilities.

Once Afghan pilots graduate and become mission ready, all combat missions will be flown and led by Afghans. Coalition members are not involved in Afghan combat missions, which was not the case a year ago, but today the Afghans do it on their own, according to advisors.

“I congratulate my young and patriotic pilots for this success and completion of their course,” Sherzai said. “I’m expecting these young pilots to use these modern and new helicopters, fighting bravely and strongly against the enemy and against terrorists.”

Engage

Twitter
A Rocket Propelled Grenade was launched at a Dyess AFB C-130J in September 2019. The Airmen had to respond quickly! https://t.co/fgfNkCjA4a
Twitter
#DYK The UH-1N has a crew of three (pilot, co-pilot and flight engineer) and is capable of flight in instrument and… https://t.co/Qcj74Tk4ra
Twitter
.@GenDaveGoldfein has left a lasting impression on @HollomanAFB. #DYK Among his many tours, he was once commander o… https://t.co/ET8q1w8ywO
Twitter
The United States Air Forces in Europe Fire Academy & 86th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters get advanced rescue… https://t.co/AUHlxm0nPt
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Thank you to the #Airmen and #SpaceProfessionals at Clear Air Force Station and @EielsonAirForce Base for sharing their…
Twitter
#DYK The F-16A, a single-seat model, first flew in December 1976. The first operational F-16A was delivered in Janu… https://t.co/B72dKcCrnr
Twitter
#DYK The C-17 made its maiden flight on Sept. 15, 1991, and the first production model was delivered to Charleston… https://t.co/edfO5R1YEm
Twitter
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: To the @PACAF Total Force #Airmen, thank you for your dedication to the mission and your spirit to serve. https://t.co…
Twitter
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: I have no doubt @PACAF will continue to grow & prosper under the steady & focused leadership of the #USAF’s newest 4-s…
Twitter
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: For the past 2 yrs, PACAF has transformed under Gen. Brown’s leadership with a new joint mission to deter aggression i…
Twitter
This technology keeps Airmen out of harm’s way when diffusing a bomb. One of the best opportunities to check out &… https://t.co/jWkN0Vbv6c
Twitter
RT @PACAF: Join us live July 8th, as Gen. CQ Brown Jr. relinquishes command of U.S. Pacific Air Forces to Gen. Kenneth S. Wilsbach. To vie…
Twitter
RT @PACAF: "Two years ago when I assumed command of Pacific Air Forces I told you that I was honored, blessed and proud. Today, I am simply…
Twitter
The Dept. of the Air Force has stood up a Diversity and Inclusion Task Force in support of both the Air Force and t… https://t.co/XS2kv8pJg6
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: Joint force training is the best training💪 Airmen and Soldiers routinely work together to strengthen interoperability in…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Just arrived at @EielsonAirForce Base to discuss Team Eielson's critical role in projecting @USAirForce #AirPower with t…
Twitter
Air Force surgeon general addressed #COVID19, innovation & leadership during a recent visit to Dover AFB.… https://t.co/qSpY2izHeE
Twitter
#DYK Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center serves as the single intermediate-level headquarters respons… https://t.co/dLlxQW4yFz
Twitter
I AM THE MISSION @USAFCENT Airmen discuss their missions with the MQ-9 Reaper and how they work together while dep… https://t.co/AbJupnj7o5
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,250,548
Follow Us