Afghan Republic History
& AAF Heroism

The End of the Afghan Republic

On 29 February 2020, the United States signed a peace agreement with the Taliban known as the Doha Accord, which promised the full withdrawal of all U.S. military forces from Afghanistan within fourteen months. The Government of Afghanistan, under President Ghani, a twenty-year ally fighting against the Taliban with the U.S. military, was not invited to participate in the negotiations. Despite promises made by the Taliban, attacks against Afghan Security Forces, and especially Afghan Air Force personnel, surged after the signing of the agreement. Thousands were killed. The subsequent drawdown of the U.S. forces over the next year led to the collapse of the Afghan military, in which the Taliban advanced faster than the American forces could withdraw.  

The Taliban commenced an offensive on 1 May 2021, coinciding with the final draw down of American forces. By 14 August 2021, most of the provincial capitals had fallen to the Taliban, and the Air Wings on bases around the country had been captured with the various aircraft relocating to the Kabul Air Wing.

Final Act of Heroism

On 15th August 2021, the Taliban entered the capital city of Kabul, Afghanistan, taking control of the country. In a final act of heroism, the surviving elements of the Afghan Air Force, under the direction of their American military advisors, flew out under fire towards the countries of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. They left in as many aircraft as possible so the weaponry could not be captured by the Taliban and used against a civilian population or the withdrawing American military in a civilian airport. This action meant leaving their wives, children, and loved ones in Afghanistan – behind enemy lines.

The personnel of the Afghan Air Force who made it to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan were placed in detention camps. Their phones, smartwatches, and money were stolen; they were unable to contact their families to let them know they were alive. They were kept hidden from the media and denied medical treatment. 

Eventually, the Afghan aviation personnel were transferred to another camp in the United Arab Emirates. Another group of Afghan Air Force student pilots and maintainers (including females) came from Slovakia and were left stranded when Afghanistan collapsed. Some of the Afghan Air Force who remained behind were able to get on the final U.S. flights out of Kabul until the last plane left on 30 August 2021 ending America’s longest running war.

team of AAF pilots posing for group photo

Arrival in the United States

Arriving in the United States, the Afghan aviation professionals were housed in hastily assembled refugee camps on military bases around the country as part of Operation Allies Refuge and Operation Allies Welcome from late Fall of 2021 through Spring of 2022. From there, refugee resettlement agencies relocated the former men and women of the Afghan Air Force around the country. Without the  choice of where they could live, they were placed on public assistance and in subsidized housing. It was a degrading and chaotic time as these former military aviation professionals popped up around the United States with no warning, no possessions, no money, and no clothes.

During this period of harsh transition, the Taliban pursued the families of the former Afghan aviation professionals. Unable to live in their homes because personnel records and the Automated Afghan Biometrics Information System (AABIS), now in the hands of the Taliban, revealed where they lived and who was related to whom, families went into hiding as the Taliban sought vengeance on anyone who supported the United States. Family members were arrested, tortured, and executed – a practice that remains ongoing.

transitional training AAF members

Employment & Transitional Training

When the officers and enlisted men and women of the Afghan Air Force sought employment in the United States, they found their U.S. taxpayer funded training, under the supervision of the U.S. Air Force on U.S. military bases, was not recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Despite receiving identical training as American pilots and maintainers and having thousands of hours of experience under combat and extreme environmental conditions, the former personnel of the Afghan Air Force and Special Mission Wing, armed with logbooks and certificates signed by American military officers, found their training was not even eligible for “military competency” recognition. Per the FAA, “military competency” applies to foreign pilots  assigned to fly “operationally” with the U.S. military, and not those trained by the U.S. military who then returned to their country to fly under direction of U.S. military advisors.

Our loyal allies for twenty years on the Global War on Terror, are in the United States working jobs in the rideshare, food delivery, and packaging industries. Most work two or more jobs to support family still in Afghanistan. They have been separated from their wives and children since 15 August 2021. A few are flying for FedEx and UPS feeder airlines, one for an aerial forest-fire fighting unit, and one is an instructor at Delta Airlines. Some of the maintainers have found their way back into aviation but more transitional training is needed for everyone. 

We need your help to get these heroes reunited with their families and careers in line with the US taxpayer funded training they received as our allies in the Global War On Terror. 

A Home Away from Home

Our Resettlement efforts for former AAF members and their families to date.


Afghan Air Force Personnel in the US


Pilots with Operational Experience


Non-Pilot Aircrew


Pilots in Training


Ground Support & Maintenance Crew

Your support means the world

Our success depends on the generosity of individuals like you. Whether you choose to donate your time or contribute financially, you are an essential part of our mission to give our allies a safe landing.