WASHINGTON — After years of recruiting and training, Afghan airmen are getting ready to fight.
Now equipped with Russian-made attack helicopters — a relic of their war-tattered past — the Afghan Army Air Corps soon will start using force in their missions, U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Walter Givhan said Wednesday.
Officials called it a significant step for a unit that grew from nothing just a few years ago.
"This has been part of a very deliberate training regimen that we have created for them," Givhan told reporters at the Pentagon during a half-hour videoconference from Kabul.
There are currently 2,700 airmen in the Afghan corps, and Givhan said it's hoped that number will grow to 7,250 by 2016.