The Times podcast: A ride-along with the Afghan Air Force

Shah Wali Kot Afghan Air Force
A UH-60 Black Hawk gunner surveys the terrain during a resupply flight toward an outpost in the Shah Wali Kot district north of Kandahar, Afghanistan.
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
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Today, we examine the Afghan Air Force — its history, its success, its tenuous future. We talk with two of my L.A. Times colleagues who went on a helicopter ride-along ... that came under attack.


Since 2010, the U.S. military and other allies have spent $8.5 billion to support the Afghan Air Force. In a long war characterized by inefficiencies and failures, this has proved to be one of the few success stories. Now, its days might be numbered.

Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times Middle East bureau chief Nabih Bulos and L.A. Times foreign correspondent and photographer Marcus Yam

More reading:

Afghanistan’s air force is a rare U.S.-backed success story. It may soon fail

Biden tells Afghan leaders that despite U.S. withdrawal, ‘we’re going to stick with you’

Troops bid goodbye to Bagram, once the heart of U.S. power in Afghanistan


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About The Times

“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, producer Shannon Lin, senior producers Steven Cuevas and Denise Guerra, executive producer Abbie Fentress Swanson and editor Julia Turner. Our engineer is Mario Diaz. Our intern is Ashlea Brown. Our theme song was composed by Andrew Eapen.