Afghanistan's air force received four A-29 Super Tucano light-attack aircraft on Monday to support the country's fight against insurgent groups.
The new planes will be used by Afghan pilots to support armed reconnaissance missions, close-air attack and escort missions, according to the U.S. Air Force.
"The four additional aircraft will allow us to increase the number of missions we are able to support nationwide," an Afghan air force pilot, who cannot be named for security reasons, said in a press release. "More targets can be attacked — more ground troops can be supported."
U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen David Hicks said Afghanistan's pilots have improved significantly on the platform.
"The AAF pilots are continually gaining proficiency in the A-29," he said. "They are capable of providing air attack anywhere in the country. In the past, the Afghan National Army relied on the coalition for air support. Now, it's their own countrymen overhead flying the missions."
Mackenzie Wolf is an editorial intern for Military Times.