The Afghan Air Force (AAF), formerly the Afghan National Army Air Force (ANA Air Force), is one of seven "corps" of the military of Afghanistan, responsible for air defense and air warfare. It was officially established in 1924 and for most of its history has functioned as a small but separate air service. The major exception was the 1980s when the Soviets built up the "Democratic Republic of Afghanistan Air Force", first in an attempt to defeat the mujahideen-led insurgency and, by the end of the decade, in hopes that a strong Afghan air arm would preserve the pro-Soviet government of Dr. Najibullah.
In 1992, the collapse of Najibullah's government and the continuation of a civil war among several competing mujahideen factions throughout the remainder of the decade reduced the Afghan air arm to a very small force with minimal capabilities. In the fall of 2001, the US/Coalition bombing campaign neutralized most of what remained of Afghan air power. Rebuilding efforts began shortly thereafter but were extremely limited for several years. Especially since May 2007, the US-led, international Combined Air Power Transition Force (CAPTF) has worked to rebuild and modernize the Afghan air arm, now designated the ANA Air Force. The CAPTF serves as the air component of the US-led, international Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan which is responsible for rebuilding the Afghan armed forces.... Read More