TAAC-Air (Train Advise Assist Command-Air) is largely doing a good job of training, advising and assisting the Afghan air force, the Defense Department’s inspector general believes. TAAC-Air’s efforts have enhanced the Afghan air force’s ability to perform their missions, conduct night operations, and coordinate air-ground operations with the Afghan army.
Nevertheless, the IG did identify areas that could be improved. In a Jan. 4 report, the IG recommended that TAAC-Air should:
* Join with NATO Air Command-Afghanistan to ensure that training efforts meet the goals of Operation Resolute Support – the mission to stabilize Afghanistan and eliminate terrorist presence there.
* Complete and formalize a strategic plan that takes into consideration a realistic assessment of the Afghan military’s “capabilities and capacities.”
* Work with security and logistics components to increase the Afghans’ present and future ability to maintain their aircraft.
The report also offered these recommendations to Army Gen. John W. Nicholson, commander of Operation Resolute Support, and those under his command:
* More coordination with Afghan officials would help identify and establish greater “aviation-specific and mission-support training capability.”
* Monitor the directive for Afghanistan now in place, and assist the Afghan military accordingly when needed.
* Provide relevant training for new-arrival advisors who are tasked with training the Afghan air force.
* Determine if training Afghans in country would be more cost-effective than the current process of training them out of the country.
* Have Air Education and Training Command assess the training curriculum, and incorporate feedback into its own mission-training syllabus.