Afghan Air Force, Army combat aviation brigade brush up on sheet metal repair
March 26, 2012
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (Army News Service, March 26, 2012) -- At the Afghan maintenance hangar, airmen with the Afghan Air Force received some critical training in aircraft structural repair maintenance from their counterparts in the U.S. Army.
It was Soldiers from B Company, 209th Aviation Support Battalion, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, who helped conduct the joint maintenance training. That training was performed in order to build upon the skill and experiences of Afghan soldiers with the goal for them gaining enough experience to one day perform maintenance independently.
"It is really good to work with the coalition forces," said Afghan Capt. Saed Habib Rahman, Kandahar Air Wing, AAF. "After today, I can continue to perform aircraft maintenance and be more proficient with sheet metal repairs."
During the training session, Rahman and Afghan Pvt. Mawen got hands-on experience with fixing a crack in sheet metal by creating a patch.
"The Kandahar Air Wing mechanics have come a long way from where they started," said Air Force Staff Sgt. David Bradley, aircraft structural maintenance advisor assigned to the 738th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group. "They are eager to learn the skills we are teaching. They listen to our suggestions and learn at a quick pace."
The focus of the training was to demonstrate the technique to use when repairing a crack in sheet metal. During the training, the mechanics were taught how to stop a crack from spreading, to select the appropriate hardware and materials, and to apply a patch to a defective area.
"I now know how to cut steel, measure the correct dimensions, drill, and make a patch on the sheet metal," said Rahman. "The Coalition Forces have a lot of experience and knowledge. I am glad to receive assistance from them."
Although the Afghan mechanics have received training from other Coalition Soldiers, this is the first time the 25th CAB has had the opportunity to work with the Kandahar Air Wing mechanics.
"The mechanics were very engaged during this session," said 1st Sgt. Lester Day, B Company 1st Sergeant, 209th ASB, 25th CAB. "They are becoming familiar with the tools of the trade, communicating with one another, asking questions in every area."
Day said the Afghans showed they are eager to learn.
"It is a privilege to be able to work with them," Day said.
The training event was one more step toward building confidence and independence in the soldiers of the Afghan Air Force.
"[Coalition forces] continue to build a stable foundation for the Afghan Forces so they can one day comfortably take over operations and security of Afghanistan," said Day.