The much-needed “tidal wave of air power” that a U.S.-supplied fleet of 159 new Black Hawk helicopters is expected to bring to the Afghan military’s war against the Taliban and other jihadists will not be fully operational until 2022, reports the Washington Post (WaPo).
The newspaper acknowledges that the Trump administration has made the development of a capable Afghan Air Force, including the Black Hawk program, a top priority.
However, the Post learned from U.S. military officials that it will take longer than expected for the Black Hawk program to fully contribute to the overall wartime “asymmetric advantage” of Afghan military air power as expected.
A capable Afghan Air Force is critical to U.S. President Donald Trump’s strategy.
A fully operational and efficient Afghan Air Force is vital for the ANDSF to be able to protect Afghanistan and maintain battlefield gains on its own.