Two operational decrees were signed on 23 January 2013 at the NATC-A headquarters at Kabul International Airport: one concerning the evacuation of wounded personnel (often referred to as CASEVAC); another addressing the dignified, culturally appropriate transfer of fallen soldiers.
“These operational decrees provide joint cohesion, direction and motivation to improve air support to Afghan National Security Forces and enhance campaign success,” emphasised US Air Force Brig. Gen. Steven Shepro, NATC-A Commander.
The primary Afghan aircraft used for casualty movements have been Mi-17 helicopters, C-27A Spartan and Cessna 208B fixed-wing aircraft. “To improve the effectiveness of these missions, the AAF and NATC-A team have accelerated the delivery, configuration and initial operating capability of the C-208 fleet in a matter of months,” said Shepro.
Maj. Gen. Abdul Wahab Wardak, Commander of the Afghan Air Force, noted the months of work involved with these specific policies. The decree initiatives instruct aircrew and direct streamlined command, control and communication across security organisations.
“The AAF’s recent progress in these priority missions has been significant,” said Shepro. “Three months ago, the air CASEVAC process would have taken over 24 hours; today, response times average under five hours from battlefield request to hospital arrival – and are increasingly Afghan-planned, coordinated and executed with minimal advisor input.”
“Air response and capability continues to improve; over the last three months, the AAF air supply to the six fielded Afghan Army Corps has comprised more than 570 missions, 370 000 pounds of cargo and 5400 passengers,” added Shepro.
(Based on original story provided courtesy of NTM-A)