Dulles, VA - The first 10 Afghan Air Force (AAF) students graduated as commercial-level rotary-wing pilots on a contract led by Raytheon to provide training for up to 80 Afghan airmen on fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft.
The graduation ceremony, held Sept. 26 in the Middle East, marked the students' completion of a two-year program that included English language immersion training, ground school and flight training. Nearly 70 additional Afghan airmen are in various stages of the three-part training and will graduate on a staggered schedule over the next year.
Raytheon was awarded the three-year, $42.8 million training contract to support NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan in October 2010 under the U.S. Army's Warfighter Field Operations Customer Support (FOCUS) contract.
"Raytheon is privileged to be a part of the crucial effort to help field a fully independent and operationally capable Afghan Air Force," said program manager Bob Williams, a vice president for Raytheon Technical Services Company LLC. Williams leads the Warrior Training Alliance (WTA) consortium of more than 140 vetted companies for Warfighter FOCUS. Horizon Flight Academy, a WTA subcontractor, was competitively selected by Raytheon to conduct the training.