Kandahar air base is the gateway to the war in Afghanistan. It is home to 10,000 troops from all over the world and houses a billion pounds' worth of military hardware. Next door to Kandahar city's domestic airport, the base features every kind of war aircraft, including jets, bombers and unmanned recon planes. At the heart of the operation are the GR9 Harriers, which provide air support for the troops on the front line.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Air Force Afghanistan - Afghan Air Force - Netflix
The Afghan Air Force (AAF; Pashto: دافغانستان هوائی ځواک; Dari: قوای هوائی افغانستان) is the aerial warfare branch of the Afghan Armed Forces. It is divided into four wings, with the 1st Wing at Kabul, the 2nd Wing at Kandahar, the 3rd Wing at Shindand, and the 4th Wing at Mazar-i-Sharif in northern Afghanistan. Lt. Gen. Mohammad Dawran serves as Chief of Staff of the Afghan Air Force and Major General Abdul Wahab Wardak is the Afghan Air Force Commander. The command center of the Afghan Air Force is located at Kabul International Airport and the Shindand Air Base in Herat Province serves as the main training area. The Afghan Air Force was established in 1924 under the reign of King Amanullah and significantly modernized by King Zahir Shah in the 1960s. During the 1980s, the Soviet Union built up the Afghan Air Force, first in an attempt to defeat the mujahideen and in hopes that strong Afghan airpower would preserve the pro-Soviet government of Najibullah. The Afghan Air Force had over 400 aircraft, including more than 200 Soviet-made fighter jets. The collapse of Najibullah's government in 1992 and the continuation of a civil war throughout the 1990s reduced the number of Afghan aircraft to less than a dozen. During Operation Enduring Freedom in late 2001, in which the Taliban government was ousted from power, all that remained of the Air Force was a few helicopters. Since 2007, the NATO Combined Air Power Transition Force (CAPTF), which was renamed the NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan (NATC-A) in 2010, has worked to rebuild and modernize the Afghan Air Force. The CAPTF / NATC-A serves as the air component of the NATO Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan which is responsible for rebuilding the Afghan Armed Forces. The AAF currently has about 100 aircraft and around 5,000 airmen. By 2016 the NATO training mission in Afghanistan wants to raise the ranks of the AAF to 8,000 airmen and increase the amount of aircraft, which are progressively getting more advanced.
Air Force Afghanistan - History - Netflix
Additionally, the Afghan Air Force probably operated some 40 or more transports, including the An-26, An-24, and An-2. Another estimate in 1988 painted a more detailed picture of the Afghan Air Force: 322nd Air Regiment, Bagram Air Base, three fighter squadrons with 40 MiG-21s 321st Air Regiment, Bagram Air Base, three fighter/bomber squadrons with Su-7/Su-22 393rd Air Regiment, Dehdadi Air Base (Balkh), three fighter/bomber squadrons with MiG-17s 355th Air Regiment, Shindand Airbase, 3 bomber squadrons with Il-28s and one fighter/bomber squadron with MiG-17s 232nd Air Regiment, Kabul Airport, three helicopter squadrons with Mi-4, Mi-6, and Mi-8 with one squadron of Mi-8s detached to Shindand 377th Air Regiment, Kabul Airport, four helicopter squadrons with Mi-25s and Mi-17s
? Air Regiment, Kabul Airport, two transport squadrons with An-2, An-26/30, and one VIP transport squadron with one Il-18 and 12 An-14s
By 1960, the Royal Afghan Air Force consisted of approximately 100 combat aircraft including MiG-15 fighters, Il-28 light bombers, transports, and a few helicopters. Also by that time, a small number of Afghan pilots were undergoing undergraduate pilot training in the United States, while others attended training in the Soviet Union, India, and several European countries. In the 1973 “bloodless” coup, King Zahir Shah was deposed and Mohammed Daoud Khan became the country's president. During his five years in power, until the Communist coup of 1978, Daoud relied on Soviet assistance to upgrade the capabilities and increase the size of the Afghan Air Force, introducing newer-models of Soviet-built MiG-21 fighters and An-24 and An-26 transports. Improvements in the early-to-mid-1970s notwithstanding, the Afghan Air Force remained relatively small until after the 1979–80 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. While the Afghan Air Force was equipped with a large inventory – probably some 400 aircraft in the mid-1980s – many of them were manned and maintained by advisors from Czechoslovakia and Cuba. In many cases, the Soviets were reluctant to entrust Afghan pilots with either the latest aircraft models or high priority missions and, indeed, a number of Afghan pilots were equally reluctant to conduct air strikes against their countrymen. The Afghan Air Force was at its strongest in the 1980s and early 1990s, producing some concern on the part of neighboring countries. The Air Force had at least 7,000 personnel plus 5,000 foreign advisors. At its peak, the Air Force had at least 240 fixed-wing combat aircraft (fighters, fighter-bombers, light bombers), 150 helicopters, and perhaps 40 or more Antonov transports of various models. Midway through the Soviet-Afghan war, one estimate of Afghan air power listed the following inventory: 90 MiG-17s – one regiment of MiG-17s and MiG-19s reported at Mazar-i-Sharif in 1990. 45 MiG-21s – in 1990, three squadrons were reported at Bagram Airfield 60 Su-7s and Su-17s – Warplane, a British partwork, reported in its issue 21, published in 1985, that some 48 Su-7BMs, without Su-7UM two-seaters, had been supplied from 1970, forming the equipment of two fighter/ground attack squadrons at Shindand Airbase. 45 Il-28s 150 Mi-8s and Mi-24s
two attack helicopter squadrons with Mi-24s at Jallalabad and Kabul Air Force Academy, Kabul, with Yak-18s and L-39s Air Defence Forces consisting of two SAM regiments at Kabul, an AAA Battalion at Kandahar, and a radar regiment at Kabul After the Soviet withdrawal and the departure of foreign advisors, the Air Force declined in terms of operational capability. With the collapse of the Najibullah Government in 1992, the Air Force ceased to be a single entity, instead breaking up amongst the different mujahideen factions in the ongoing civil war. By the end of the 1990s, the military of the Taliban maintained five supersonic MIG-21MFs and 10 Sukhoi-22 fighter-bombers. They also held six Mil Mi-8 helicopters, five Mi-35s, five L-39Cs, six An-12s, 25 An-26s, a dozen An-24/32s, a IL-18, and a Yakovlev. The Afghan Northern Alliance/United Front operated a small number of helicopters and transports and a few other aircraft for which it depended on assistance from neighboring Tajikistan. With the breakdown of logistical systems, the cannibalization of surviving airframes was widespread. The US/Coalition operations in the fall of 2001 destroyed most of the remaining Afghan aircraft. It was 2005 before a US-led, international effort began to rebuild the Afghan Air Force; since 2007, the pace has increased significantly under the auspices of the Combined Air Power Transition Force. The Mil Mi-24 and Mi-35 (export model) attack helicopters have a long history in Afghanistan. The aircraft was operated extensively during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, mainly for attacking Afghan mujahideen fighters. Early in the war, the only anti-air weapons of the mujahideen were Soviet made shoulder-launched, heat-seeking SAMs and American Redeye, which had either been captured from the Soviets or their Afghan allies or were supplied from Western sources. Many of them came from stocks the Israelis had captured during their wars with Soviet client states in the Middle East. Owing to a combination of the limited capabilities of these early types of missiles, poor training and poor material condition of the missiles, they were not particularly effective.
Air Force Afghanistan - References - Netflix