Story and Photo by
Sgt. Daniel Schroeder
25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — At the Afghan maintenance hangar, here, Soldiers with Company B, 209th Aviation Support Battalion, 25th Combat Avn. Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, taught Afghan Air Force mechanics how to repair aircraft.
The joint maintenance training builds upon the skills and experiences of the Afghan mechanics, so they can repair aircraft independently in the future.
“It is really good to work with the coalition forces,” said Afghan Capt. Saed Habib Rahman, Kandahar Air Wing. “After today, I can continue to perform aircraft maintenance and be more proficient with sheet metal repairs.”
During the training session, Rahman and Afghan Pvt. Mawen got hands-on experience with fixing a crack in sheet metal by creating a patch.
“The Kandahar Air Wing mechanics have come a long way from where they started,” said Air Force Staff Sgt. David Bradley, aircraft structural maintenance advisor, 738th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group. “They are eager to learn the skills we are teaching. They listen to our suggestions and learn at a quick pace.”
The training taught the Afghan mechanics how to repair cracks in sheet metal. They learned how to stop cracks from spreading, how to select the correct hardware and materials, and how to apply a patch to the defective area.
“I now know how to cut steel, measure the correct dimensions, drill and make a patch on the sheet metal,” Rahman said. “The coalition forces have a lot of experience and knowledge. I am glad to receive assistance from them.”
Although Afghan mechanics received training from other coalition Soldiers, this time was the first the 25th CAB worked with KAW mechanics.
“The mechanics were very engaged during this session,” said 1st Sgt. Lester Day, Co. B, 209th ASB, 25th CAB. “They are becoming familiar with the tools of the trade, communicating with one another, asking questions on every area, and showing how eager they are to learn. It is a privilege to be able to work with them.”