• Pathfinder students from 4th Kandak, 2nd Brigade, 205th Corps, prepare equipment to be attached to the bottom of an Mi-8 helicopter with the Kandahar Air Wing during the 4th Lightning Strike Pathfinder Academy, where the students were trained and certified as Pathfinders by Afghan instructors in partnership with Pathfinders of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, at Forward Operating Base Wolverine, Afghanistan, Dec. 5th.  (Photo by Capt. Richard Barker, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs)

    Afghan Air Force Supports Pathfinder Academy

    Pathfinder students from 4th Kandak, 2nd Brigade, 205th Corps, prepare equipment to be attached to the bottom of an Mi-8 helicopter with the Kandahar Air Wing during the 4th Lightning Strike Pathfinder Academy, where the students were trained and...

  • An Mi-8 Helicopter with the Kandahar Air Wing sling loads equipment in support of the 4th Lightning Strike Pathfinder Academy where Afghan instructors from 4th Kandak, 2nd Brigade, 205th Corps, in partnership with Pathfinders of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, at Forward Operating Base Wolverine, Afghanistan, Dec. 5th.  (Photo by Capt. Richard Barker, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs)

    Afghan Air Force Supports Pathfinder Academy

    An Mi-8 Helicopter with the Kandahar Air Wing sling loads equipment in support of the 4th Lightning Strike Pathfinder Academy where Afghan instructors from 4th Kandak, 2nd Brigade, 205th Corps, in partnership with Pathfinders of Company F, 2nd...

  • An Mi-8 Helicopter with the Kandahar Air Wing sling loads equipment in support of the 4th Lightning Strike Pathfinder Academy where Afghan instructors from 4th Kandak, 2nd Brigade, 205th Corps, in partnership with Pathfinders of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, at Forward Operating Base Wolverine, Afghanistan, Dec. 5th.  (Photo by Capt. Richard Barker, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs)

    Afghan Air Force Supports Pathfinder Academy

    An Mi-8 Helicopter with the Kandahar Air Wing sling loads equipment in support of the 4th Lightning Strike Pathfinder Academy where Afghan instructors from 4th Kandak, 2nd Brigade, 205th Corps, in partnership with Pathfinders of Company F, 2nd...

  • Pathfinder students from 4th Kandak, 2nd Brigade, 205th Corps, attach equipment to the bottom of an Mi-8 Helicopter with the Kandahar Air Wing during the 4th Lightning Strike Pathfinder Academy where the students were trained and certified as Pathfinders by Afghan instructors in partnership with Pathfinders of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, at Forward Operating Base Wolverine, Afghanistan, Dec. 5th.  (Photo by Capt. Richard Barker, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs)

    Afghan Air Force Supports Pathfinder Academy

    Pathfinder students from 4th Kandak, 2nd Brigade, 205th Corps, attach equipment to the bottom of an Mi-8 Helicopter with the Kandahar Air Wing during the 4th Lightning Strike Pathfinder Academy where the students were trained and certified as...

  • An Mi-8 Helicopter with the Kandahar Air Wing sling loads equipment in support of the 4th Lightning Strike Pathfinder Academy where Afghan instructors from 4th Kandak, 2nd Brigade 205th Corps, in partnership with Pathfinders of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, at Forward Operating Base Wolverine, Afghanistan, Dec. 5th.  (Photo by Capt. Richard Barker, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs)

    Afghan Air Force Supports Pathfinder Academy

    An Mi-8 Helicopter with the Kandahar Air Wing sling loads equipment in support of the 4th Lightning Strike Pathfinder Academy where Afghan instructors from 4th Kandak, 2nd Brigade 205th Corps, in partnership with Pathfinders of Company F, 2nd...

FORWARD OPERATING BASE WOLVERINE, Afghanistan (Dec. 7, 2012) -- The Kandahar Air Wing provided rotary wing air support to the 4th Lightning Strike Pathfinder Academy operated by Pathfinders of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, at Forward Operating Base Wolverine, Afghanistan, Dec. 5.

This marks the first time Afghan aircraft were used in support of the unit's Pathfinder Academy.

"Once we leave and the Afghans take over, all sling loads and cargo movements will be conducted with Afghan aircraft," said Sgt. Wyndol Shurley, a team leader with the Pathfinders, 2-25 AVN, originally from Hawkinsville, Ga. "With our aircraft such as the CH-47 Chinook and [UH-60] Black Hawk, the cargo hook is fixed on the outside of the aircraft. The Afghan helicopters are different with the cargo hooks suspended on the inside of the aircraft making it important for the Afghan Pathfinders to be familiar with them.

The KAW supported the Pathfinder students of 4th Kandak, 2nd Brigade, 205th Corps, by familiarizing them with the Mi-8 aircraft and assisting them in performing sling load operations. Sling load operations are the task of attaching cargo to a rotary wing aircraft so that the cargo is transported underneath.

"I am happy to have had the experience of going through this class," said Abdolkarim, an Afghan soldier, with the 4-205th. "I will never forget the skills I learned here. I gained a lot of experience."

This was the fourth Pathfinder Academy supervised by cadre from the 25th CAB.

Each academy has given more control and responsibility to the Soldiers of the 4th Kandak, 2nd Brigade, 205th Corps, with the goal of allowing them to train their own students. For this academy two students from previous classes returned as instructors where they taught more than 75 percent of the class.

"I taught most of the practical portions of the class to included slings loads, rigging a container, and hand and arm signals," said Sgt. Zabiullah, an infantry Soldier and Pathfinder instructor with 4-205th. "I'm motivated that our own helicopters came here to support our training. This is a positive step forward in gaining the ability to defend our own nation."

Six Soldiers graduated Dec. 7 during a ceremony attended by the Commander of Regional Command South, Maj. Gen. Robert Abrams.

Through the four Pathfinder Academies, the 2-25 Pathfinders have trained and graduated a total of 32 new Pathfinders.

Page last updated Fri December 7th, 2012 at 00:00