A report from the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General (DoD OIG) has said that Train Advise Assist Command – Air’s (TAAC‑Air) cannot track the Afghan Air Force’s progress.
The critical remark follows TAAC‑Air’s efforts to train, advise and assist the Afghan Air Force, which saw significant progress in three major areas.
The report highlighted that TAAC‑Air does not have any plan defining its mission to develop the Afghan Air Force into a professional, capable and sustainable force.
The military formation did not integrate its planning with NAC-A’s end state or Resolute Support campaign plans.
Efforts without a plan integrated with Resolute Support campaign plans can lead to an ineffective use of the US and Coalition advisor train, advise and assist efforts, the report noted.
The Coalition administers contractor logistic support contracts for the Afghan Air Force aircraft. The contracts do not have a plan or timeline to transition maintenance operations to the Afghans.
The existing contracts reduce the maintenance training opportunities for Afghan Air Force mechanics and prevent the airforce from developing their own maintenance capability.
The IG report said that the mission support and aircraft maintenance personnel of the airforce do not get required or consistent training from the Afghan National Army schools, which hinders the professional and sustainable development of the airforce.
In addition, the Afghan National Army corps commanders surpassed the scheduled monthly flying hours for the Mi‑17 aircraft.
This, along with the lack of necessary supporting maintenance and inspections, will speed up the deterioration of the helicopter fleet and will reduce the availability of aircraft for operational use, the report said.
The DoD OIG report recommends that TAAC‑Air completes and formalises its strategic plan. It has also been advised to coordinate with the commander of Nato Air Command-Afghanistan, as well as with Combined Security Transition Assistance Command-Afghanistan to modify aircraft Contractor Logistics Support agreements.