Who We Are

Responding to the needs of our allies

The Afghan American Development Group is comprised of Americans and future Afghan Americans supporting approximately six hundred former personnel of the Afghan Air Force (AAF) and Special Mission Wing (SMW) now living in the United States. Loyal allies in the twenty-year war on terror, these men and women fought the Taliban and various terrorist groups alongside the American military in our country’s longest war.

Februrary 29, 2020

On February 29, 2020, the United States entered into a peace agreement with the Taliban, known as the Doha Accord, to end America’s involvement in Afghanistan. This commenced a new phase known as RETROGRADE, in which the United States reduced its military presence in Afghanistan over the next sixteen months. The Taliban advanced faster than the U.S. military could withdraw.

August 15, 2021

The Taliban entered Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, on August 15, 2021, where the remaining forces of the Afghan Air Force (AAF) and Special Mission Wing (SMW) had consolidated. With the collapse of the country imminent in a matter of hours, American military advisors instructed personnel of the Afghan Air Force and Special Mission Wing to fly all available aircraft to the neighboring countries of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan so the Taliban would not capture the aerial weapons. In the dark and under fire, the final remnants of the AAF and SMW flew out of Kabul. Several aircraft were lost during takeoff. This heroic action prevented the airplanes and helicopters from being captured by the Taliban and potentially used on a civilian population. It also meant leaving wives, children, and loved ones behind.

Fall 2021 - Spring 2022

Surrendering to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan authorities, the AAF and SMW personnel were placed in detention camps. Eventually, they were transferred to another camp in the United Arab Emirates, and they were flown to the United States during the fall of 2021 – spring 2022 as part of Operation Allies Welcome. The Taliban seized the homes, cars, and assets of the former AAF and SMW personnel, They persecuted their families, putting them on the run and in hiding in a country where the United Nations estimates 94% of households face food shortages. Upon arrival in the U.S., the personnel of the AAF and SMW were placed in refugee camps on military bases around the country, granted humanitarian parole, and the ability to apply for asylum.

After Spring of 2022

After several months, they left the refugee camps, and various agencies “resettled” them randomly around the United States. Many departed the U.S. refugee camps during the winter, still wearing the clothes from that fateful night in August. One Afghan pilot was sent to Buffalo, New York, in December by bus in a tee shirt, shorts, and sandals.

While most of the personnel had trained in the United States for several years at U.S. taxpayer expense, they found living as civilians to be entirely different. Separated from their families, they were placed in shelters and subsidized housing and, in most cases, given food stamps and ninety days rent. Their professional careers were destroyed; our Afghan allies found their aviation skills did not readily transfer to commercial aviation in the United States. Many now work multiple jobs for menial wages to support themselves and their families who remain trapped in Afghanistan and hunted by the Taliban.

The Afghan American Development Group, a nonprofit organization comprised of American and future Afghan Americans, was formed in the summer of 2022 to respond to the needs of our former allies now living in the United States. Our three pillars are: assistance with resettlement issues, job training, and family reunification.

Afghan Air Force Members

What We Do


Resettlement Efforts

We assist with navigating the myriad of agencies, charities, and various administrative tasks one must do to settle and move forward in America. These range from understanding a lease to obtaining medical insurance, evaluating transportation options, filing for asylum, creating a resume, and many, many things in between.


Family Reunification

In a heroic attempt to prevent aircraft from falling into the hands of the Taliban, Afghan aviation personnel had to leave their families behind in Afghanistan. More than 93% of the former personnel of the Afghan Air Force and Special Mission Wing in the United States have been separated from their wives and children since August 2021. We seek to reunite these families. They deserve maximum effort and resolve.


Education & Training

Improving language skills and transitioning from military careers to civilian ones takes time, money, and classwork. These men and women are highly trained professionals, and we seek to prevent them from getting trapped in menial jobs that waste years and trillions of US taxpayer funded training. Education is the way forward.


Job Placement

The U.S. commercial aviation offers many employment opportunities for former Afghan Air Force and Special Mission Wing members who seek to continue careers in aviation. We seek to partner with prominent employers who recognize the value of former Afghan aviation personnel. Many are graduates of the Afghan Air Force Academy or the National Military Academy of Afghanistan, which was modeled after the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.


Colleagues Left Behind

Not all of our loyal allies made it out of Afghanistan. Former Afghan Air Force and Special Mission Wing personnel remain in hiding. Some have been executed, and others are hunted by the Taliban while they wait out immigration processes to come to the United States. We seek to keep the awareness of these vulnerable aviation colleagues out in front in the media and in the various political arenas. These men, women, and their service to the United States cannot be forgotten. 

The Founders

Russ Pritchard


Russ Pritchard AADG
Kristine Dipple


Kristine Dipple
Darin Chung


Darin Chung AADG
Sabira Rezaie

Special Initiatives

Sabira Rezaie AADG


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My time working with Afghan Air Force (AAF) personnel, both in the United States and Afghanistan, included more treasured memories than I can count. AAF personnel were truly professional and skilled in all that they did. They were outstanding partners and maintained a positive, welcoming attitude in some of the toughest scenarios imaginable. It was an honor and a pleasure to work with them.

Colonel Gerald “CAMO” Ferdinand, USAF
Chief of Operations, Joint Operations Center, U.S. Central Command
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Over the years that I worked alongside the Afghan Air Force, I was always impressed by their grit and determination. They were skilled at finding solutions to problems that were unique to operating in an environment where resources were tightly constrained at times. They worked professionally through the inevitable setbacks and frustrations that are inherent in war. I would not hesitate to serve alongside them again.

 Lt. Colonel James Paul “OUTLAW” Atkinson, USAF
Assistant Director of Operations, 706th Aggressor Squadron
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From 1992 to 2021, I served in the Afghan Air Force under Presidents Najibullah, Rabbani, Karzai, and Ghani. The Afghan American Development Group supports the men and women of the Afghan Air Force and Special Mission Wing now residing in the United States. Trained alongside the American military, many on military bases in the U.S., they are the best at what they do. We need your assistance getting these precious veterans the necessary job training to continue careers in commercial aviation.

Colonel Ahmad Wali Bagramwahl
Afghan Air Force, Group Commander, Kabul Air Wing

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.