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Phillip Walter Wellman

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US, Afghans hope new Black Hawk squadron will help turn tide against insurgents

Afghanistan is scheduled to receive 159 U.S.-funded Black Hawks by 2024 to replace an aging fleet of Russian-made Mi-17s, part of a larger modernization effort that will more than double the aircraft in the air force’s inventory.

US orders more attack planes to boost Afghanistan’s air capability

The United States will provide Afghanistan with six additional A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft as efforts continue to strengthen the country’s air force and make government forces less reliant on American airpower.


Hundreds of new commandos join Afghan military in US-backed security push

More than 800 Afghan troops became commandos on Wednesday as part of a U.S.-backed drive to double the size of the military’s special operations forces to more effectively fight the Taliban and other militants.


Attack outside Afghan military academy is latest in wave of suicide bombings in Afghanistan

More than a dozen Afghan soldiers were killed Saturday when a suicide bomber attacked their vehicle outside a training academy in Kabul, officials said. The blast was the latest in a surge of deadly attacks across the country.


Rise in Afghan civilian casualties complicates US mission

Civilian casualties from U.S. airstrikes in the first nine months of this year rose by about 80 percent, to about 180 from some 100 in the same period last year, the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said in a report released on Thursday.


Black Hawk gift to Afghan forces marks 16th anniversary of war

The United States officially gave the Afghan air force its first Black Hawk helicopters on Saturday, as the country marked 16 years since a U.S.-led invasion ousted the Taliban from power and ignited America’s longest war.


Watchdog Sopko expresses new optimism about Afghan forces, US role

The watchdog for U.S. reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan says the responsiveness of the Trump administration has made him more optimistic than ever about the future of the country’s security forces.


Suicide bomber dressed as shepherd kills 6, injures at least 20 in Kabul

A suicide bomber dressed as a shepherd, and accompanied by sheep, blew himself up near a Shiite mosque here Friday, killing at least six civilians and wounding 20 others, officials said.


Taliban attack on airport during Mattis’ visit to Kabul leads to airstrike

Rockets and mortar shells slammed into Kabul’s international airport and surrounding neighborhoods Wednesday, killing one person and injuring 11 others while Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and the NATO chief were in town to discuss ways to stabilize Afghanistan.


Report says 15-year US Afghan assistance mission was ill-prepared from the outset

TV shows used as training guides and “cut-and-paste activities” were among the flaws found by a U.S. government watchdog report as it examined why Afghanistan’s forces are unable to secure the country after 15 years of international assistance.


Afghan air force gets upgrade with arrival of first Black Hawks

Two American-made UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters arrived in Afghanistan on Monday, the first of nearly 160 such aircraft that the country’s air force will get in the coming years as part of an ongoing modernization plan.


Afghanistan security command welcomes new command sergeant major

Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan welcomed a new command sergeant major on Thursday.


Data show sharp increase in munitions dropped by Air Force in Afghanistan

The Air Force dropped more than 500 weapons in Afghanistan last month — the largest monthly tally since 2012 — continuing an uptick seen throughout this year, according to newly released military data.


Resolute Support 9/11 ceremony in Kabul a reminder of 'why we're here'

A Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up near the largest U.S. base in Afghanistan on Monday, a day on which servicemembers marked the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.


Afghan Defense Ministry: US leaflet drop broke agreement

The U.S. military broke an agreement with Afghanistan’s Defense Ministry when it released propaganda flyers deemed offensive to Muslims without first getting clearance from Afghan defense officials, a spokesman said Thursday.


UN concerned about deadly airstrikes in Afghanistan

The United Nations has expressed grave concern over the deaths of nearly 30 civilians killed by counterinsurgency airstrikes in Afghanistan this week.


Marines help Afghan forces clear insurgents from Helmand district

The U.S. military says it is achieving its primary goal in Afghanistan’s embattled Helmand province by enabling Afghan forces to expand security zones around the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah.


Taliban kill dozens in storming of Afghan base

The Taliban attacked an Afghan military base in southern Kandahar province on Tuesday evening, killing more than two dozen soldiers, the Defense Ministry said.


US airstrike accidently kills more than a dozen Afghan police

Friday’s strike on a security forces compound in Gereshk district was part of a U.S.-supported operation against Taliban militants in the area.


UN: Afghan war claims record number of civilian lives

The war in Afghanistan has claimed a record number of civilian lives in the first half of the year partly because of an increase in suicide attacks, the United Nations said Monday.


New commander is highest ranking female officer in Afghanistan since war began

Army Maj. Gen. Robin Fontes on Saturday assumed the highest position of any female servicemember in Afghanistan since the war began, taking over command of Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan.


US senators spend Independence Day with troops in Afghanistan

A group of U.S. senators celebrated Independence Day on Tuesday in Afghanistan, where they met with American servicemembers and said major changes were needed to win the war.


Nicholson: Afghan police actions saved lives amid deadly attack

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan on Sunday thanked families of Afghan police officers killed or wounded in one of the deadliest terrorist bombings of the country’s 15-year-old war.


GALLERY

Homes in Kabul painted bright colors to cheer up war weary residents

Afghan officials are hoping to alleviate some of the depression associated with war by literally brightening up the country’s capital.


Teenager threatens to blow himself up at US base in Afghanistan

Afghan authorities on Tuesday arrested a teenager who had threatened to blow himself up at Bagram Air Field, officials said.


7 US servicemembers wounded in 2nd Afghan insider attack in a week

Seven U.S. servicemembers were wounded and at least one Afghan soldier was killed on Saturday in the second insider attack in Afghanistan in a week, NATO and Afghan officials said.