A group of 26 Afghan pilots and door gunners this month completed their training for UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters in southern Kandahar province.
They received their graduation certificates during a ceremony which was attended by Air Force Commander Gen. Abdul Fahim Ramin, Kandahar Air Brigade Commander Gen. Abdul Raziq Shirzai as well as foreign partners, trainers and officers.
The majority of the 11 pilots had successfully completed a UH-60 Aircraft Qualification Training in a two-month course and then transited to a Mission Qualification Course at Kandahar, according to a report on Resolute Support website.
Many of them already had previous experience with Mi-17 helicopters. Trainings were provided by American contract instructors and overseen and managed by advisors from various Resolute Support member states.
They comprise currently of a mix of US Army, US Air Force, Australian Army and Swedish Air Force. Those same coalition advisors fly with and instruct the Afghan Air Force crews on mission tactics after they graduate from training.
The NATO-led Resolute Support mission remains committed to build-up a powerful Afghan Air force, the report says. "Thus we protect our homelands. Afghanistan must never again become a safe haven for terrorists," reads the report.