Jan. 1, 2016
Advising the Afghan Air Force
Successful advising requires skill in a broad range of competencies that includes political-military relations, operations, and acquisitions. Advising the Afghan air force’s airlift mission seeks to strengthen the legitimacy of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan as part of the counterinsurgency strategy of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Training at the U.S. Air Force’s Air Advisor Academy supports the initial qualification of students as air advisors, while additional lessons are gleaned from studying the Soviet experience in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Finally, developing effective advising postures can be guided by a conceptual model that incorporates ideas outlined in Colonel John Boyd’s essay “Destruction and Creation”1 and by systems engineering techniques. This article breaks down the essential components of a successful air advising posture, applies it to the mission in Afghanistan, and concludes with a summary of key points and suggested areas for improvement.