Browsing: afghanistan

When a lack of English comprehension among Afghan pilots led to hazardous traffic in the skies over Jalalabad, a group of airmen responded by sending the pilots to the classroom. A group of Air Force Train, Assist, Advice, Command Air Advisors stationed at the base this month created a weeklong aviation English course specifically for Afghan pilots to help them communicate better. In January and February, miscommunication led to 19 hazardous traffic reports at the base. “[The situation] presented a major collision hazard to the US and NATO helicopters and fixed wing traffic that flows in and out each day,”…

The Air Force on Sept. 2 honored 39 security forces airmen with the Air Force Combat Action Medal for helping fight off a pre-dawn Taliban attack on three bases. According to an Air Force release, the five-hour-plus battle began when Taliban-linked insurgents opened fire on the Afghan air force’s Kabul Air Wing, the U.S.-run Forward Operating Base Oqab, and a NATO base within the grounds of Kabul International Airport at about 4:15 a.m. on July 17. The attackers began by firing more than a dozen rocket-propelled grenades and automatic rifles from a multistoried building about 350 meters from the bases’ perimeter.…

After losing one arm and both of his legs to an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan, Master Sgt. Joseph Deslauriers is moving forward — this time into a new home. The Building Homes for Heroes Foundation, a non-profit founded in 2006, broke ground Nov. 18 on the Deslauriers’ family home, complete with a work out area, a therapy pool and enough space for him to move around freely, according to an Air Force release. “This is going to lift a huge weight off my shoulders, especially since I may be medically retiring in the future,” Deslauriers, who currently lives in…

The passing of James Gandolfini sparked major tribute to the actor and his  long-lived career this week.  While he’s most popularly known for his role as Tony Soprano from the HBO series “The Sopranos,” Gandolfini had other projects he honored even more. “So many people are remembering him as Tony Soprano. I’m always going to remember him as the man of such goodness who wanted to bring attention to the soldiers and airmen and Marines that you see in ‘Alive Day: Home From Iraq’ and ‘Wartorn,'” said  Matthew O’Neil, the director of the veteran documentaries for HBO in an interview…

Senior video journalist Colin Kelly and I accompanied a C-130J crew on an airdrop over southwestern Afghanistan while embedded with the 451st Air Expeditionary Wing at Kandahar Airfield. The crew, from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, delivered food and supplies to a forward operating base Jan. 17. [brightcove video=”2102405282001″ /]

Raffle tickets for an electric guitar emblazoned with the names of the eight airmen and a civilian contractor killed in a mass shooting in Afghanistan in April 2011 are now on sale at www.airforceguitar.com. The proceeds will go to the families of the fallen, known as the “NATC-A Nine,” said Maj. Henry Cecil, who helped spearhead the fundraising effort. Tickets are $25 each or five for $100. The drawing is planned for Veterans Day, Cecil said. An Afghan colonel turned his gun on NATO Air Training Command advisers inside Kabul International Airport on April 27, 2011, killing Lt. Col. Frank…

Brig. Gen. Stephen Clark of Air Force Special Operations Command has been tapped to get to the bottom of a NATO airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on Nov. 26. Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis, commander of U.S. Central Command, appointed the rated command pilot as the investigating officer who will lead the probe and deliver a report by Dec. 23, according to the Pentagon. Clark has been in the Air Force for about 25 years and previously served as the commander for the 27th Special Operations Wing at Cannon Air Force Base, according to his service biography. He…

Columbist Robert F. Dorr wrote last week about Staff Sgt. Robert Gutierrez, the combat controller who stared down death to call in airstrikes and save his Special Forces A-team. Dorr, who knows a thing or two about the Air Force, was unequivocal in his writing: “His heroism was unrelenting; his dedication to his service and his country, indisputable. For his actions, Gutierrez is nominated for an Air Force Cross, the service’s second highest valor award. He should, however, receive the Medal of Honor. Only the nation’s highest distinction is appropriate for the combat controller, who lost half his blood from…

NATO uploaded footage of today’s firefight outside the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. It was the second major attack this week. On Sunday, insurgents set off a truck bomb that injured nearly 80 U.S. troops in eastern Afghanistan. See video of today’s attack below:

Capt. Henry Charles Albert David Windsor, better known as Great Britain’s Prince Harry, may be coming to an Air Force Base near you. You don’t have to be teenage girl to get excited about this heartthrob — although, ladies, he is single — because he’s not just another pretty face. He’s among world’s the most famous veterans of the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. And he’s heading back. The Telegraph reported earlier this summer that the prince, a captain in the British Army Air Corps, is heading back to the ‘Stan as an Apache attack helicopter pilot — no easy job.…

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