US ambassador to Mongolia visits AAF Base in Kabul

438 Air Expenditure Wing

Story by Vladimir Potapenko

KABUL, Afghanistan - The U.S. Ambassador to Mongolia visited the Afghan Air Force Base in Kabul, March 21, as part of his tour of Mongolian military operations in Afghanistan.

As part of his visit, Ambassador Jonathan S. Addleton was presented a brief detailing the role Mongolian Air Force troops serving in regard to the continuing development of the AAF. The brief highlighted MAF efforts in instructing Afghan airmen on the engine and body maintenance of the Mi-17 transport helicopter.

Since October 2011, the six-man Mongolian contingent on the AAF Base in Kabul have been teaching courses focused on the up-keep of the Mi-17, the centerpiece of the AAF rotary-wing force.

Following the brief, Addleton presented the Mongolian team with NATO ISAF service medals as recognition of their contribution to NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan and NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan.

“The main reason I came out here was to show appreciation for the Mongolian contribution here,” said Addleton, going on to explain how impressed he was with the level of professionalism and commitment to mission that the Mongolian troops working with NATC-A and the rest of NTM-A display on a daily basis.

Addleton cited the fact that Mongolian instructors are able to use Russian, a common historical language shared with Afghans, to communicate with AAF airmen as a particular example of their industriousness and ability to succeed in the face of challenges presented by the region.

“It was great to have someone come and recognize our work here,” said Lt. Ayushjav Myagmardorj, the Mongolian liaison officer with the 440th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron and NATC-A. “The work we do here is important and it is nice to see people appreciate that fact.”

“It also feels good to have a sense of home brought to us while we are away,” he added, commenting on the Mongolian cookies, newspapers and other trinkets the ambassador brought with him to Kabul.

Currently, there are approximately 200 Mongolian troops in Afghanistan, though that number is due to increase in light of a recent agreement between Mongolia and NATO to nearly double the number of troops serving in the region.



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