Almost to the day, our direct military involvement in Afghanistan has reached its 18th year. Those Afghans, American, British, and others who were had yet to reach their first birthday when the attacks of September 2001 led us to move in to direct military action in Afghanistan, those children of 2001 are now on their way to that Central Asian country to pick up the conflict other generations have yet to put an end to is.
Nation building, counter-terrorism, training, capability building, infrastructure development and even agricultural assistance, we’ve had the better part of two decades to find a path, or combination of paths, to help the Afghan people stand in the modern age. The programs and names change, but in the distance was that common goal.
Today’s guest Lieutenant Jack McCain, USNR returns to Midrats after recently completing a tour helping train the Afghan armed forces to fly and use the ubiquitous Blackhawk helicopter. We’ll cover his experience there to talk about that stage of our involvement in Afghanistan, the experience of working with Afghans on a daily basis, and other related topics.
Lieutenant McCain is a currently serving Naval Aviator and graduate of the United States Naval Academy and Georgetown's School of Foreign Service. He has deployed four times in the Pacific, Persian Gulf, and recently returned from Afghanistan where, as an Afghan Hand, he flew alongside Afghan pilots in the Blackhawk. Prior to that was a leadership instructor at the Naval Academy and a Search and Rescue Pilot in Guam. He is presently assigned the Navy Reserves as a helicopter pilot.