Almost Half of Afghan Pilots Trained in Fort Worth Went AWOL
A program for training Afghan pilots in the United States has been terminated after it was determined that nearly half of the participants were going AWOL.
According to a report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), over 40% of Afghan Air Force students being trained to fly AC-208 Combat Caravan aircraft in Fort Worth have absconded since the project's inception.
Back in 2017, SIGAR reported that almost half of all foreign military trainees to go AWOL since 2005 were from Afghanistan, and that of the 152 who'd gone missing, 83 fled the US or remained unaccounted for.
Apparently, US-trained Afghan pilots are often the target of Taliban assassins hoping to make things a little easier for their comrades on the battlefield by eliminating skilled attack pilots.
Many of the AWOL pilots who are apprehended request asylum. In a few cases, their request is granted.
Pilots who didn't go AWOL were sent back to Afghanistan to complete training, and the program produced only one graduating class. A second and third class will complete their training in their home country.
It's pretty crazy to think that there are several U.S. military trained Afghan pilots running around unaccounted for. Doubtless many are worried about threats against their lives from the Taliban, but it makes you wonder if any of these pilots have ill intentions.