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Afghan Chief of Army Air Corps Receive Legion of Merit Medal       


Chief of the Afghan National Army Air Corps, Major General Mohammad Dawran, visited Washington DC and held meetings with the senior leadership of the United States Air Force from July 12-18, 2009. General Dawran and Political Counselor M. Ashraf Haidari met with the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air force, General Norton Schwartz, to discuss the status of developing the Afghan National Army Air Corps on July 14, 2009.  General Dawran extended his personal gratitude to General Schwartz for the assistance the U.S. Air Force had so far provided to help redevelop Afghanistan’s air corps.


In 1980s, Afghanistan had some 400 different types of aircrafts, most of which were destroyed in 1990s. Very few aircrafts, mostly M-17 helicopters, survived, which the Afghan National Army initially continued to use at great risk because of a lack of maintenance and replacement with newer versions. Since 2004, however, the U.S. Air Force has been assisting the Afghan National Army to redevelop its air corps. Several Afghan Air Corps officers have been trained in the U.S., while more Afghan students will be receiving pilot training there in 2010. The U.S. Air Force and the Afghan National Army Air Corps are currently implementing a three-phase development plan to meet Afghanistan’s short- and longer-term airlift and close air support capabilities.


General Schwartz awarded the Legion of Merit Medal to General Dawran in recognition of his major contributions to the revival, development, and management of the ANA Air Corps. General Dawran said he was honored to receive the Medal as another sign of U.S. commitment to the stabilization and reconstruction of Afghanistan.

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