The Afghan Air Force (AAF) is conducting more air missions and air strikes than the U.S. Air Force in Afghanistan, Brigadier General Charles S. Cleveland, spokesman for NATO's Resolute Support training mission, revealed March 1.
Cleveland said the AAF has grown from zero fixed wing combat aircraft on March 1, 2016, to eight A-29s presently conducting combat operations daily throughout Afghanistan, to be joined by another eight aircraft by the summer/early fall. He added that the AAF has the pilots and maintenance personnel to conduct these operations as well as terminal air controllers calling in air strikes daily.
But he added that "they still do need help," so the U.S. Air Force is providing a bridge "until the Afghans can do it all by themselves."
He put the number of Afghan tactical air controllers, who even have their own acronym, ATAC, at over 100.
Cleveland said the AAF will receive another four A-29s in 2018 if a request made by the Obama administration for more fixed and rotary wing aircraft is approved.