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Afghan Pilots Check Off Another Training Milestone: The first two Afghan air force pilots to complete the 16-month basic aviator training in the United States are now qualified as co-pilots of the Mi-17 helicopter, the primary rotary-wing asset in the AAF's fleet. First Lieutenant Abdul Saboor Amin and 1st Lt. Ahmad Fawad Haidari completed their first check-ride—the halfway mark in their Mi-17 training—earlier this month over Kabul, demonstrating their control and understanding of the aircraft. "I would give them the highest marks I can hand out," said USAF Lt. Col. Mace Kant, an Mi-17 pilot advisor and the instructor pilot on the check-ride. "The first check-ride is always the hardest because you learn the aircraft the most and it encompasses the most studying and learning, but they did very well." (Kabul release)