IG Report Questions Afghan Capability
By Harold Hutchison
The United States may be buying the Afghans helicopters they cannot use, according to an inspector general’s report. The biggest reason is due to a lack of qualified pilots. The situation is such that only seven Afghan pilots are qualified to fly with night-vision goggles. It could be another sign that the Obama Administration’s timetable-based withdrawal from Afghanistan could become messy.
According to a report by the Washington Free Beacon, the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction has questioned the decision to purchase PC-12 aircraft and Mi-17 helicopters for the Afghan Special Mission Wing due to the pilot shortage.
“DOD performs 50 percent of maintenance and repair and 70 percent of critical maintenance and logistics management for SMW and does not have a plan for transferring these functions to the Afghans,” the SIGAR report said.
Should plans to pull out of Afghanistan be re-thought in light of this report?