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Kandahar Air Wing's First Anniversary

  • Published
  • By Col. Bernard Mater
  • 738th AEAG CC
On Oct. 5, 2010, the Kandahar Air Wing celebrated their first anniversary in high Afghan style. Over 350 Afghan military and community leaders and NATO personnel attended the celebration luncheon that was capped off with presentations to the Wing's Annual Award winners.

The ceremony marked the achievements of the Kandahar Air Wing Airmen and their many accomplishments as a Wing and as a part of the coalition effort to bring safety, security and stability to southern Afghanistan.

Since activation on Oct 5, 2009, the Kandahar Air Wing has:

· Flown over 850 combat sorties moving more than 7,000 passengers and 100,000 kilograms of cargo

· Started regular aeromedical evacuation flights

· Supported combat and the Afghan Parliamentary Elections operations throughout southern Afghanistan · Rescued 83 Afghan civilians from flooded river

· Developed a Mi-17 rocket-firing capability

· Created Afghan Air Force's first fly-away security team

· Conducted KAW's first 50- and 100-hr Mi-17 inspections

· Grown from 250 to over 500 personnel

· Recorded zero safety mishaps of any kind

During their first year, Kandahar Air Wing visited places that had not seen a Mi-17 helicopter in over 15 years; when the people of Afghanistan looked up, they could see a visible symbol of their government fly over their heads. They participated on the opening day of Operation MOSHTARAK and continue to fly missions throughout Helmand. They have supported the Hamkari Baraye Kandahar activities to root out insurgent activities in Kandahar. They have also conducted aeromedical evacuation missions and flown several hundred Afghan National Security Force personnel and civilians to improved medical care and safety.

The Airmen of the Kandahar Air Wing look forward to continuing to learn, improve and work together for all Afghans and extend the Islamic Government of the Republic of Afghanistan's governance and visibility throughout southern Afghanistan during their second year. I am impressed with what they've achieved - it gives me hope as a NATO Airman - that our sacrifices and efforts will improve and bring peace to Afghanistan.