About the Author: Major General Walter D. “Waldo” Givhan, United States Air Force, serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Plans, Programs and Operations in the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.
My recent trip to Afghanistan was a great chance to reconnect with many Afghan counterparts from the year I spent there in 2008-2009 working with the Afghan Air Force to rebuild and modernize their force. At the top of my agenda was to meet with the commander of the Afghan Air Force, Major General Abdul Wahab Wardak to hear his perspective on the progress of the recently rebuilt and revitalized Afghan National Army Air Force. I was impressed to see a growing fleet of aircraft that are being operated by a dedicated and capable force of Afghan airmen assisted by a team of U.S. mentors and advisors.
The Afghan Air Force dates back to 1924 under the rule of King Amanullah Khan and went through several evolutions in subsequent decades before being reduced to near obscurity during the civil war and Taliban rule of the 1990s. As we began to rebuild Afghan National Security… more »