KABUL, Afghanistan – The Special Mission Wing, Afghanistan’s special operations aviation element, celebrated the graduation of 15 trainees of its Green Platoon at the unit’s headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, Nov. 25, 2017. Three PC-12 multipurpose plane instructor pilots, two PC-12 student pilots, four Mi-17 helicopter pilots, four crew chiefs, and two mission sensor operators completed the training required to serve in the SMW.
“The graduates are entrusted with upholding the highest standards of professionalism of those who came before them and those who will follow in their footsteps in years to come,” said Lt. Gen. Yaftali, Afghan Ministry of Defense Chief of Staff.
The Green Platoon course is a rigorous eight-week training program that focuses on both field and classroom exercises, PC12 and Mi17 crew interaction, advanced tactical techniques, and mission planning.
“The graduates are now part of an elite aviation unit,” said Richard Riley, Assistant Chief of Mission for U.S. Embassy Kabul. “Their achievements are nothing short of remarkable for they now have a much greater purpose of providing and maintaining security for all of Afghanistan.”
The additional of special operators to the Afghan Special Security Forces is a critical component of Afghanistan’s 2020 Road Map. The Road Map places a significant investment in the ASSF by doubling the size of the special operations forces to enable increasing numbers of synchronized offensive operations across the nation.
Over the next four years the number of Commandos will increase from 11,700 to 23,300 personnel. The General Command of Police Special Units will grow to 9,000, and the Special Mission Wing will grow in order to meet the needs of increased aircraft allocation.