Raytheon Company has been awarded a contract modification on the Warfighter Field Operations Customer Support (FOCUS) contract to add more pilots to the New Dawn training program. The change calls for an additional 24 fixed-wing and four rotary-wing Afghan Air Force pilots to be trained. The training will take place in the United Arab Emirates. Read more in "More Afghan pilots to receive Raytheon training", PR Newswire, November 10, 2014.
Photos of Afghanistan are an invaluable aid to the "fobbits" that inhabit the large Coalition FOBs in Afghanistan but who "never leave the wire". You can go online and visit Afghanistan and feel like you are actually in-country! Monique Jaques shares her photos with us on her website.
Warfare in mountainous operations sometimes means that pack animals are used to transport personnel, equipment, and supplies. There are remote outposts of the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police that rely on pack animals (Kunar, Nuristan, etc.). U.S. Army Special Forces personnel receive training and instruction on the use of pack animals. A new publication on the topic has just been published. See ATP 3-18.13, Special Forces Use of Pack Animals, October 30, 2014.
There are many challenges in front of President Ghani and the resources at hand are diminishing with the reduction of ISAF combat troops and decrease in international aid. Read "Afghanistan: New President and Old Pitfalls", Eurasia Review, November 10, 2014.
The drug trade poses numerous problems for Afghanistan to include the harmful effects of illicit drugs on Afghan people, organized crime, and corruption of the government and security organizations of Afghanistan. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is working with Afghanistan to reduce the drug trade. Read more in "In Afghanistan, UN crime chief pledges support to combat disastrous drug trade, corruption", UN News Centre, November 10, 2014.
A short documentary film is available on YouTube about the copper mine at Mes Aynak (Logar province) and the ancient Buddhist site under excavation. See The Buddhas of Mes Aynak by Brent Huffman (9 mins).