First Afghan Air Force Pilots Graduate from Raytheon-led Flight Training; Bob Williams Comments

Raytheon Co. has announced the graduation of the first 10 Afghan Air Force students as commercial-level rotary-wing pilots as part of the U.S. Army’s warfighter field operations customer support contract, according to a company statement.

The graduation ceremony was held in the Middle East on Sept. 26, after the students completed a two-year program that included English language immersion training, ground school and flight training.

Raytheon won the three-year $42.8 million training contract in October 2010 to support NATO air training command-Afghanistan under the warfighter 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.

Under the contract, Raytheon agreed to provide a three-part training program for up to 80 Afghan airmen on fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft.

According to the company, early 70 additional Afghan airmen in different stages of training will graduate next year.

Raytheon selected Horizon Flight Academy, a WTA subcontractor, to conduct the warfighter FOCUS training.

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