Library Fact Sheets
438TH AIR EXPEDITIONARY WING|
Printable Fact Sheet
Who we are -- Our mission is to set the conditions for a professional, fully independent and operationally-capable Afghan Air Force that meets the security requirements of Afghanistan today ... and tomorrow.
What we do - We partner to provide trained and ready Afghan Air Force (AAF) Airmen to accomplish critical tasks from the air in support of the Afghan National Army (ANA) and Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and when directed by the Ministry of Defense and General Staff, to support by air the civil authorities of Afghanistan at all levels.
How we are organized -- Composed of more than 1,000 members, the NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan (NATC-A) includes coalition partners from the United States, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Croatia, El Salvador, Greece, Italy, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Mongolia, Portugal, the Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. There are three groups under the wing: 438th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group, at Kabul International Airport; 738th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group, at Kandahar Airport; and 838th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group, at Shindand Air Base.
The 438th AEW trains, advises and assists today's Afghan Air Force in order to develop its operational capability. The AAF operates the Mi-17 transport helicopter, Mi-35 attack helicopter, Cessna 208B and C-27A Spartan fixed wing aircraft; MD530 helicopters and Cessna 182Ts are used in support of Afghan pilot training.
Afghan Air Force Capabilities -- At present, the Afghan Air Force has over 100 military aircraft and over 6,000 assigned personnel. Those numbers are expected to grow to approximately 140 aircraft and more than 8,000 personnel by 2016.
There are three Afghan Air Force wings, one each in Kabul (1st Wing), Kandahar (2nd Wing) and Shindand (3rd Wing). Each Afghan wing is aligned with the Air Advisory Group with which it is collocated. NATC-A is developing the Afghan Air Force as an institution able to train its own aircrew and personnel in all the functions required to sustainably operate and manage an air force.
The AAF is actively engaged in military operations to meet Afghan National Security requirements. The AAF is proceeding well along the path to becoming a professional, fully independent, and operationally-capable air force.
History -- The wing trained in the Reserve for troop carrier operations, Jun 1949-Mar 1951 and for fighter-bomber missions, Jun 1952-Nov 1957. The group flew global transport missions for the Military Airlift Command between Sep 1978 and Jun 1980. Between Nov 1991 and Oct 1994, the group participated in numerous contingency, humanitarian airlift, and peacekeeping operations around the world.
Today, the wing, headquartered in Kabul, Afghanistan, has three Air Advisory Groups stationed at the Kabul International Airport, Kandahar Air Base, and Shindand Air Base, as well as numerous detachments across Afghanistan.
What does the emblem signify?
The emblem (approved on August, 10, 1954, reinstated on August 19, 1993 and modified on January 28, 2009) is symbolic of the wing and its mission, past, present, and future. The design contains the Air Force colors of blue and yellow. Ultramarine blue and Air Force yellow are the Air Force colors. Blue alludes to the sky, the primary theater of Air Force operations.
Yellow refers to the sun and the excellence required of Air Force personnel. Royal Purple signifies the understanding the wing accomplishes its mission in close partnership with a sovereign nation. The shield division suggests night and day, and denotes the unit's ability to conduct operations twenty-four hours a day. The globe symbolizes the global mission of the unit and emphasizes the ability to complete the mission anywhere in the world. The lashing spear, with twisting contrails, symbolizes the speed and accuracy of the unit's capability.
· Established as 438th Troop Carrier Wing, Medium 10 May 1949.
· Activated in the Reserve on 27 Jun 1949.
· Ordered to Active Service 10 Mar 1951.
· Inactivated 14 Mar 1951.
· Redesignated 438th Fighter-Bomber Wing 26 May 1952.
· Activated in the Reserve on 15 Jun 1952.
· Inactivated 16 Nov 1957.
· Redesignated 438th Military Airlift Wing, and activated, 27 Dec 1965.
· Organized 8 Jan 1966.
· Redesignated 438th Airlift Wing 1 Nov 1991.
· Inactivated 1 Oct 1994.
· Redesignated 438th Air Expeditionary Wing and converted to provisional status, 4 Dec 2001.
438th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
Kabul International Airport, Afghanistan