May 7th, 2010
08:21 AM ET

Female pilot helps Afghan air force take off

[cnn-video url=]

Decades ago, Afghanistan's air force was in full operation. Today, that air force is being rebuilt, with some of the same helicopters and some of the same pilots as well - including the first woman in the Afghan Air Corps and currently the only one.

The only time Capt. Latifa Nabizada left the force was to flee to Pakistan when the Taliban took over in the 1990s - a woman pilot was a prime target for them.

"I wanted to be a pilot since I was a child," she says. "I also, as a woman, felt it was a responsibility to serve my country. So I joined 20 years ago. ... I stayed in because it's the love of my life, and I still feel the responsibility to not give it up."

Today, she is one of about 50 pilots training in Kabul, with a few others elsewhere in Afghanistan. And U.S. forces are helping mentor the pilots, training them on modern air force techniques for the 50 or so aircraft in the Afghan air force fleet.

Nabizada revels in the new training: "I've seen remarkable changes since we started this. We get training in air traffic control, pre-flight checklists, English language, instruments, navigation. These are skills we didn't have before."

On the training base in Kabul, a regular sight is Nabizada's 4-year-old daughter Malali. 

"Being a pilot and a mother is hard, actually," Nabizada says. "My husband is a doctor in the air force and we have no one to take care of her, so she comes with me every day. One day I'd like to see childcare in the air force."

Until then, Malali learns first hand about her country's air force and her mother's groundbreaking role. Will she follow in her mother's footsteps in the future? "Exactly," says Nabizada. "She will be a pilot in the future."

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Filed under: Life and Culture • Troops
soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. buy methylone

    Awesome article. It will be useful to everyone who will be able to use this information, including myself. Keep up the good work.

    August 18, 2011 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  2. ExNavyMechanic

    I am 5'2", 95lbs and was a diesel truck mecahnic for BMU2 in VA. Women can do what it takes when it is called on them to do the job and this story is one great one, on MANY women out there who given the task will give it 100% because we care about ourselves, our families, our friends, and our Country!

    May 10, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kalyan

    I think the biggest concern is what will happen to her and her family after the US chooses to pull out.

    May 10, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JT

    Fascinating reporting on a brave lady- I wish her, her child and her husband the best- safety and peace. Was interested just as much in the visuals on the former Soviet aircraft and helos in the report: Mi-17 helicopters, an AN-32 transport plane and even an Mi-24 Hind, the infamous Devil's Chariot that prompted us to supply Stinger AA man-pad missiles to the Mujahadeen in the first place, back in the 1980s. History goes round and round in circles in Afghanistan, with endless death and killing. I pray Allah will show mercy on these long-suffering people and at long last, simply bring peace to this ancient land.

    May 9, 2010 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. inter_sec

    Afgan guy er you planing to kill us all because a woman has been given the a chance to serve her mother land by the way give a vs or sulat in holly book supporting your women being servant at home.our people's lives all over the world is being put on hold bucause people like you thing you know better same like you Afgan guy refuse to see that 9/11 was the greatest evel act in our lives

    May 9, 2010 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. DJ

    It just goes to show people that this country is moving forward with the times that they are living in which is 2010, not 1850. In some ways this country is following in the US footsteps in not treating women and other people as slaves and property anymore as we did 50 – 100 years ago. Women in the US were treated as nothing mindless objects to own then. Keep going forward Afghanstan. Men, your women love their country as much as you do!!!! They are willing to fight for their country, just like you are doing now.

    May 9, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Daniel-2

    @Jeep.But does what you say justify the obscene butchery by those ungodly drones being used against the people and I don't mean just so-called "militants" who live in the backlands?Somehow I don't think so.

    May 9, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jeep

    @Daniel2; It must suck to go through life so cynical. I was personally involved in the rescuing of 75 Afghans after the Salang Pass avalanche. I was personnaly involved in the delivery of school supplies to towns around AFG. My point... We are not here killing innocent Afghans. We are here to help them live better lives. All of the Afghans I have worked with have told me the horror stories about the "Taliban times" I don't think for a minute that as soon as we leave, it will devolve back to that and the killing will start again. Read your history! I really wanted to stay out of this, but I couldn't stand the ignorance anymore! And it is ignorance! Come here and see for yourself!

    May 9, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  9. Daniel-2

    @Afghan guy.I'll have to agree with you.Alf,Iraq Paramedic and all these other war mongering idiots turn my stomach upside down with their glorification of this stupid war.Now the right-wing media is using a woman to that end.They just don't get it and don't want the rest of us to do so.All the Afghans want is to be left alone and decide their own destiny,but the West,unfortunately,won't stand for it! and that's the problem!

    May 9, 2010 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  10. Pillstonic

    One token woman however diligent can only be panacea if she is backed by her military with a wing or training school. Progressively asking for what comes next is ideal promotion characteristic; childcare, military school, training,.. somebody please feed this delusion.
    Is Afghanistan achieving its own military weight comparative to a normalized country? A country's military needs to be able to squash a few rebel occurences, hold back neighbors and assist allies. Does any country need more than that? Perhaps Afghanistan is just waiting for the military stance of the neighbor regimes to be on a rational footing for averaged military strategies.
    Perhaps the whole world is waiting for these older regimes to lose strategies of military might exceeding a mobile human population. So much for the right to freedom, liberty, vote, governments of the people and protest, when most military doesn't need population approval in action.
    Vote 1 for flight chicks! [Submitted to DEF vote]

    May 8, 2010 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Maqsud

    A woman responsibility is to take care of children.WOMAN and Pilot profession is funny in Afghanistan.

    May 8, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. GM3

    Afghan guy- What gives you the right insult other people like you do? Because you feel that you are better than they are? Or is it because your the idiot and your afraid to admit it?

    May 8, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Afghan guy

    Alf you are a blood-thirsty moron. Western attire doesn't make one modernized. In Afghanistan those people we call Kabulis. Even the street cleaners wear a good suit thinking they look like doctors... b/c of propagation by Western media. I am an engineer, and I wear Afghan clothes whenever I have a chance. Every Afghan gathering I go to, I wear Afghan attire, while all the McDonalds workers wear suits. I bet deep down there they are thinking they are idiots.

    This woman is nothing but a shame to the rest of Afghan women. Women like this one is what stops Afghan men from giving them rights, because they become traitors adn join the enemy.

    May 8, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Alf

    Afghan gay, who am I to question the will of Allah. May she bury all those abusive Taliban idiots under a ton of pig guts. Just a thought....

    May 8, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Alf

    I think some of those who feel that the US is "infecting" the Afghans society should read up on the Afghans society pre-Soviets (50 – 70's). Women were very modern, dressed in western attire and educated! It was the Taliban and such thinking idiots that forced women back to the stone (you know, uneducated, bare foot and pregnant). A Taliban phrase: the sun must not touch the skin of an Afghan woman will know need to say a woman pilot will ensure that the Sun does not touches the skin of a Taliban (because he is dead and buried!). God's speed and good hunting sister.

    May 8, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Afghan guy

    This woman is a traitor. First she serves the invaders known as the Soviets. Now the Americans. And she's praised. Of course the master will praise the slave for doing hsi work.

    May 8, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  17. jsb

    I see you deleted the misinformation in the original story, that she had fought against the Soviets – I wonder what she was actually doing in those days? You could make a case that there would have been no shame in supporting the Soviets against our mujihadeen back then – the Soviets recognized the danger of arming and training those islamic militants and brutal warlords – on the other hand of course, the Soviets themselves were brutal occupiers, so there may have been no right side in that war. I hope she just spent her time keeping her plane clean and staying out of trouble.

    May 8, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Megan L.

    This is one awesome lady!!! I admire the women of the Air Force very much, and this is another story of women overcoming things to do what they love!!! Hats off to you!

    May 8, 2010 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  19. AthensGuy

    Does this really need to be a contentious topic?

    May 8, 2010 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  20. Daniel-2

    @Popsiq.I couldn't agree with you more.I get very nauseated at seeing all these right-wing nutjobs blogging in here trying to glorify this obnoxious war.In fact if Germany had won WW1,there most probably would not have been WW2.And what would Jesus have said upon seeing those cursed drone airplanes with their 500lb.bombs?If these right-wing fools were to hear him preach at any pulpit,they would have thrown everything but the kitchen sink at him!

    May 8, 2010 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
  21. Popsiq

    What loads of 'Bush-wa' in these posts.

    Militarism has led to nothing but insecurity, failed diplomacy and war. It wasn't a lack of military that led to appeasement of Hitler, it was the result of the previous military exercise from 1914-1918 which the 'military' had totallly misapprehended and which cost Europe a entire generation of young men. France had a larger, better-equipped military, but unlike Germany, the military weren't running the government. The Nazis were a military government, their leader was head of the armed forces, and he acted like one.

    Ever wonder why the 'losers' seem to feel the need for a rematch? That's no pacifist sentiment. Neither is kicking the crap out of an enemy to 'make sure they can't do that again'.

    If there is a God, surely He will send the Americans who wage war in His Name the message that they are dead wrong. Jesus would have wept.

    May 8, 2010 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
  22. tony russo

    It was the US, Russia and the Brithish who made this poor country the way it is right now. these three blood suckers playing their proxy games at the expense of the poor afghan people.

    May 8, 2010 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
  23. howz3r

    she has my respect. i hope she earns great rewards for eliminating terrorists from other countries, as well.

    May 8, 2010 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
  24. Ramesh Manghirmalani


    May 8, 2010 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
  25. P

    What a great role model !! Even if you don't agree with her military or political viewpoint she has achieved a very personally challenging career, overcome many obstacles most of us would not even attempt, and managed to fit in a family...Bravo...

    May 7, 2010 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Daniel-2

    The right-wing news media will do anything to make NATO look good.First by trying to discredit the Taliban as much as possible and now using women to help glorify this obscene war.In fact,the Afghans already had an air force back in 1990 with Russian trained pilots,but nobody glorified the Russians.On the other hand,the right-wing media lambasted them over and over again.

    May 7, 2010 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Sally


    Here is a test for you.

    Suppose there are three people in the room. YOU have a loaded rifle. Osama has a knife. Your mother is tied in a chair next to Osama. If you are a child that cares, what do you immediately do?

    If you answer this question, please make it short.

    If you answer the question wrong, well, you probably did not make it out of the room either.

    If you passed the test, you may want to re-examine some of your previous answers to other posts.

    May 7, 2010 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Zoomzom

    Soon after US forces leave Afghanistan she will be training Taliban and local warlords on how to fly planes, the same way we trained current Talibans how to wage gorilla war to fight against Russian. Russians must be laughing out loud at us. Afghan president is already threatening to join Taliban, we need to watch out.

    May 7, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Cooclaw

    She brings her child to work with her everyday...thats nothing we have a child air traffic controllers at JFK airport clearing planes for take off.

    May 7, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Trackerball

    Nobody walks around with a ID card or badge saying Taliban, so don't think "Killing lots of taliban=>lot less taliban" is a simple numbers game. A war of ideology has to be fought in the same way.

    May 7, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  31. truthywood

    This woman had to leave her country because of American supported Mujahideens, Its good to see that America is trying to correct her mistakes.

    May 7, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  32. HotDogInBuns

    So, all you people, who keep saying "The Taliban use little boys to blow people up, the Taliban do this,,,the Taliban do that" The Koran told them not to. The CIA taught them how.

    May 7, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  33. moron

    You can tell that this reporter is very biased against Islam. Always trying to diss it. Women in the airforce? What a disgrace.

    May 7, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  34. HotDogInBuns

    This whole thing started when America Funded Bin Laden to fight the soviets. Betrayed, Bin Laden grouped up as many for his cause he could. Frsutrated, America tries to cover up a huge mistake by going in for "WMD's" Of course, nothing found, nothing, to cover expenses swe try to branch out to Iraq. We created armed Afghani;s we just esential arm the future Taliban. Don't believe me? Google: "Soviet Afghan war". AMericans love to see propoganda like this. I mean, they are a country that believes whatever is flashed on the screen, and it shows in thier obeese populations. Apparently some one told them fast food was good, and no health care is even better LOL! FAIL

    May 7, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Woody

    Keep yourself healthy wealthy and wise webmd dot com !!!!

    May 7, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Woody

    All must learn. howstuffworks all one word dot com.. We are all one in the eyes of ?

    May 7, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Chris

    Funny how many brain dead Americans are posting here.

    If you're so concerned about how regimes treat their people it's time to take a look at various countries in Africa, where MILLIONS have been killed in the last decade.

    I can't believe how stupid and ignorant most Americans are.

    But then, what invader ever took over another country convince they were wrong?

    May 7, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Chris

    Now there's a societal advancement, advocating women in the military, taking their kids to work.


    Afghans need to get the Americans out of their country before the Americans further infect the Afghan culture.

    May 7, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Johnny D

    That's all we need is a bunch of screaming wahabis behind the controls of military aircraft.

    May 7, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  40. AutosPak

    Barak, you are one thankless Afghani.Since when did you assume that NWFP was part of Afghanistan. As far as I know there is a lot of hatred for Afghanistan in NWFP. Pakistan helped Afghans for decades in return Afghanistan gave Pakistan drugs and illegal weapons.

    Do you know Afghanistan is exporting more illegal drugs now than ever before. Do you blame Pakistan for that because Pakistan is not growing these drugs in your country.

    May 7, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  41. s

    Here we go again another story about how the whites have come to the rescue of those poor people in western asia.

    May 7, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Steven Stewart

    Soooo she isn't a pilot...she is a pilot in training... so not a pilow... i didn't see one factual statement in this entire article, actually..including her fleeing to pakistan from the taliban...

    May 7, 2010 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Joe

    Oh Lord. I hope she don't get her ears cut-off.

    May 7, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Yulia

    Two decades ago, Afghanistan's air force was in full operation against the Soviets? Are you people nuts? Two decades ago the Afghan Air Force was an ally of the Soviet Army and they fought side by side. I am sure many illiterates will believe that the Afghan Air Force was fighting the Soviets. The mujahadeen had no air force to speak of!

    May 7, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  45. 732EcesDet5


    What gets very old is comments such as yours, who may have actually never had the guts to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces and still thinks you know it all! Why won't you hop on a plane and ride on a convoy with one of US and see for yourself why we do what we need to do! You need to step out of your comfort zone and experience it for yourself. it hurts to hear such one sided points of view. Grow some...and come and get some.

    "History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid" Dwight D. Eisenhower

    OIF veteran Baghdad 2004

    May 7, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Barak

    Pakistan did not host millions of Afghans from the 1979- wars... The camps that Afghans went to were in the northern part of what You call Pakistan, which in reality is Afghanistan. So technically you assume Pakistan supported the Afghans but inreality they were in their own most southern region of their own country. All that Pakistan did they and still does today is take money from the CIA/U.S. Gov and pockets most of the funds and spends very little on what they were originally paid to do. Either pay to support the mujadeen in the 80's and today they are paid to kill "Taliban" which they are doing a very poor job at. A country with nuclear weapons cannot defeat a small group of tribal people using out dated weapons? Oh wait thats because Pakistan was ONE of the Two countries that recongized and supported the Taliban in the 90's.

    Pakistan = creator of Taliban and a country thats milking the U.S. for funds.

    May 7, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  47. sophie

    To Hamed:

    Pakistan's all-volunteer armed forces (ie, modernized and well-trained) recently got two female pilots. Kudos to Afghanistan for joining the modern world. You bash Pakistan, a country that has always accepted your millions of refugees fleeing unrest from 1979 and onwards. Pakistan, a developing country itself, hosted and supported Afghan refugees for decades. Most of Afghanistan's current elite generation, including Hamid Karzai, benefited from Pakistani hospitality. Afghanistan expects hand-outs from the country of Pakistan, but wants to be dictated to by the U.S.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Argus

    Hey Jebus you givin me the Ebee Jebuses. Why would a redneck read this article?
    Forget the sanity go back to Hannity

    May 7, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Jebus Cripes

    To start, eradicate the following countries. Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, Oman, Afghanistan & Pakistan right after we deport all the Allah worshippers within our borders. Maybe we could have a reality show & vote who gets eliminated next. We must show that our God is tougher than their Allah. May God Super Bless !!!

    May 7, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Kim in SC

    This is an uplifting article to read about a situation that has been and continues to be extremely difficult for thousands upon thousands of the people who are affected by the choices of the few that started all this mess. When I first read this article there were 24 comments....#1 and #24 brought tears to my eyes. #24 Amen to your comments...this world would be a better place if there were more people like you and less like #2 Onesmallvoice....all I can think about you Onesmallvoice is that you have a small mind and a "sickening" and "obscene" way of expressing your voice.
    #43 Good question! The answer is difficult. There are those worried about their pocket books...(why bother...the pockets of the US people have already been picked!) Soime just want the needless killing to end before the next body bag to come home is someone in their family or someone they care about. It's a tough call but surely somebody out there has an idea. President Obama is not responsible for this war (by the way I'm not African American) but he is responsible as commander in chief to find levelheaded, thoughtful, compassionate people to help end this situation without the lives already given (or affected) to have been given in vain.

    Happy Mother's Day Captain Latifa Nabizada! I hope your daughter Malali has a better life to look forward to than you have had to live.
    To those of your accusers who mentioned working side by side with the Soviets...everyone in this lifetime has to deal with situations that they find themselves in that are not to their choosing BUT we are all human and when a better choice comes along God help us all to choose it!

    To the author Michael Holmes at CNN and all other reporters over there...Thank You for putting yourself in harm's way to produce articles like this one people know there's more to this conflict than terrorists weilding weapons

    President Obama may God give you the wisdom and help you need to bring this situation to an end ASAP so that children like Malali can live better lives. There are many prayers going up on your behalf to help you govern this country so may you have the courage to act, that your predecessor didn't because he surrounded himself with the wrong people.

    May 7, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Travis

    I personally think this woman is of the bravest character. I applaud her for her efforts in a country where oppression is the norm for women. In addition,

    I think it is important to understand where Afghan guy is coming from. He claims that the US destroys entire villages and that the Taliban is for Afghanistan. I am not sure I understand this but there are a few FACTS that need to be disseminated. First, the US tip toes around villages and towns and the preservation of civilian life is a priority; ask any soldier. While the foreign and local media like to force you into conclusions, there are facts beyond the TV and the internet.

    Now, how you can portray the Taliban as a group who do either of these things is completely illogical. If you forget, it is these insane radicals who dump acid on women, kill them for trying to attend school, and make them cover their face? Considering just a few percent less than half of the population are women, so, in fact the Taliban seek to oppress nearly half of the population? Hmmm....a nationalist need to be defined for you I think.

    Redneck and CIA, well, if you can't handle American ways and ideas and are unable to differentiate between hillbillies and the most sophisticated intelligence service in the world, you should go join the Taliban. They have two goals, "kill the infadels and trade more opium". By the way, you have great English, my last check the literacy rate was high but in Afghan Persian and Dari. Where did you learn such good English? Here in the US? I hope you enjoyed it hypocrite.

    May 7, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Rob

    Do people want the US out of regional conflicts because they just care so much for our troops or because they care so little about people being forced to live under such oppressive conditions?

    May 7, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  53. AutosPak

    There is a need to develop Afghan infrastructure and train Afghani people in technology. I feel there is a need to develop e-commerce sites for Afghanistan like this site to buy and sell cars in Pakistan.
    The reason I say that is more usage of internet will educate more people.

    May 7, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Argus

    I was in Kabul about a year ago and a British women who ran a school for orphaned girls was killed by Taliband riding a motorcycle as she was walking down the street. Her crime was proselytizing.

    Being in the miltary, I think this women has more security available, but I'm sure she has to watch her back constantly

    May 7, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  55. G

    Well Done! Send the americans home and let the women deal with the taliban.

    May 7, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Tom

    In such a society with very traditional beliefs, I wonder if a service has been done to call attention to this woman pilot.

    May 7, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Argus

    Just to clarify...Some of the old aircraft are being refurbished but most, if not all, new aircraft are built in either in Italy or Cechoslovakia and are purchase with UN/US $$.
    If you're not sure how to help out because your airfield/aircraft experience is limited, check into ESL. Some english language instructors are being provided through military contracts

    May 7, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  58. jimmy

    bigdawg, you are wrong, and wrong.

    a president doesnt have the power to start a war. we were right to go into iraq, but wrong to stop at certain borders. did the right thing, but did it the wrong way, and btw, there were several countries around the world that were involved with this, it wasnt just the U.S.

    with regards to being bogged down in afghanistan, the pashtun idealogies have been the reason they have repelled army after army for thousands of years.

    research the pashtun people and tribes, and you will see why they have won or outlasted many different countries fighting forces.

    we should have been able to burn poppy fields day one, werent allowed to touch them.

    btw any more medics or corpsmen on here hoping for people to get mowed down by gunfire? guess he aint seein too much b-side lately...

    May 7, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  59. jimmy

    most the medics or corpsmen i know wouldnt capitalize the word taliban. or hope for gunships cutting people to ribbons.

    May 7, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  60. bigdawg

    Okay, here's my take:

    Iraq WAS A MISTAKE OF GARGANTUAN PROPORTIONS!! It was the war criminal Cheney and the idiot Bush who started that illegal, immoral war for oil. Also, GWBs Iraq war diverted beans and bullets from Afghanistan in the early 2000s, thereby not providing enough troops to sustain gains made there. All of Bush's dicking around just reestablisheded the opium trade.

    Bottom line: America never should've gone into Iraq. It's why we're bogged down in Afghanistan after seven years!

    Convict Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rice and Rumsfeld for war crimes!!

    May 7, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  61. dennis

    good story but only time will tell the outcome of this country

    May 7, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Erica

    I have so much admiration for this woman. My husband and I are NCOs in the USAF and I totally understand her struggle being a mom and a productive member of the military. We are lucky to have childcare right on base for our baby, and it is still a tap dance everyday to make it work. Good luck and God speed Capt.Nabizada!

    May 7, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Raven

    War should be avoided, but when war is declared, (which it has for a long time thanks to al qaeda pukes) there aint "rules" since one side will be breaking them in order to gain advantage to their enemy, war is show of force, the cardinal rule he who got the most and kill the most wins. and the objective of war is to win, Also the victor at the very end makes the rules since it has the naked force as a leverage. When it came to war it aint a police action. and SOLDIERS aint POLICEMEN If it is a police action the government would be sending police officers over there to keep the peace, there fore all those political correctness garbage keep it off the battlefield there aint room for that, not only it keep our soldiers from doing their job also it is killing our soldiers. At the end war does not determent who is right but who's left, as for civies they are between the rock in a hard place
    Just my humble opinion

    May 7, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  64. vulpecula7.62mm

    Just wait till we pull out... and we will. They are going to come to her door in the night. Bury her neck deep in sand and trow stones at her till dead. Thats the type of people we are trying to invest in

    May 7, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  65. mike

    thanks to the previous poster for pointing out this woeful error

    "Two decades ago, Afghanistan's air force was in full operation against the Soviets. Today, that air force is being rebuilt for a new war, with some of the same helicopters and some of the same pilots as well – including the first woman in the Afghan Air Corps and currently the only one."

    she fought against the mujahadeen with the russians.

    How are we supppsed to listen to CNN when they dont even have a basic hint of afghanistans history

    May 7, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  66. davedog

    CATom, your simplistic and untrue statement flags you as another unthinking minion of Rush Limbaugh and his ilk.

    May 7, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  67. davedog

    Hamed: "...eliminated once and for all." Are you saying we that millions of people – most of them innocent – should be killed? What an absolutely evil thing to contemplate! If there was a hell (there is NOT) you would surely go there for eternity. Are you a Muslim?

    May 7, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  68. CATom

    Killing was bad when done under the bush regime. But now it is good because obama says so.

    May 7, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Hamed

    If the world want peace and in this world then the world should get rid of two nations who are the major terorrist countries, one is the nasty Zionist and the other one is Pakistan. They are like the AIDS virus, it should be eliminated once and for all.

    May 7, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Cranberry

    Liz – if the taliban overpowered the Afghan men, what makes you think they would not have been able to overpower the Afghan women? I mean, I know women rock and everything, but I'm not sure I understand your comment.

    May 7, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Scott

    Its nice to see most of the comments alligned in agreement. And theres no way to express a proper thank you to our forces in country. Quite admirable really the whole story. From the pilot to the mentors and all the supporting personnel. I just wish there was anything I could do there at my age. Id drive a fuel truck and operate cargo equipment if the military would have me there... Anything to help/show support on any front. To ALL the boots on the ground~~ A most profound thank you!

    May 7, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Bill Smith

    The Afghan air force was with the Soviets not against them.

    May 7, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  73. alumette

    What the heck is that plane she is flying? looks like some WW2 remnant. The girl needs jet experience.

    May 7, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Afghan guy

    And the person who wrote this, read your own article again. Is this taken out of the redneck section of CIA? The Afghan air force 2 decades ago was used against Mujahedeen and people like me, the common Afghan. Our village was turned into rubble in 2 hours because 50 Soviet tanks were destroyed by a few Mujahedeen fighters. The US does this exact same thing... punishing whole villages with B2 spirits an dother heavy bombers as a way of terror.

    So edit your article. The air force was used against Afghans back then, and still is today. The only difference being the Soviets supplied the air force with modernized planes, which the US refuses to do so. The US doesn't trust the Afghan gov't with cobras, apache's, or AC-130. Yet the Afghan gov't is carrying out everyone of CIA's commands.

    May 7, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Afghan guy

    Iraq Paramedic,

    Are you always that blood-thirsty and illogical? The Taliban are a nationalist group fighting for Afghanistan. There aren't many Afghans, other than the Karzai ones, that would hate Afghan nationalists. This is why the Taliban can run around the tribal regions freely...because they have vast support.

    May 7, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Doug

    Iraq Paramedic,

    I have to back you on your posts. Many people that make comments on here live sheltered lives that think if there were no military there would be no wars. How wrong they are. People like that are the one's saying "Give Peace a Chance" after diplomacy fails. Just like the hippies of the Viet-Nam era, these people are dillusional. She should be proud to go out and help her country by smoking a few Taliban.


    May 7, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Slumjelly

    Cuddo's and thanks to all the persons in the world who fight oppression,hatred and prejudice. Especially those who put their lives on the line for the freedoms we sometimes take for granted in this country. If not for the people who are willing to put their lives on the line, we would not be speaking English in this country. Again! Thank You!! Until the people's of Afghanistan are educated in the ways of Democracy(all manners) and not a dictatorship as has been the case for thousands of years. Afghanistan's people and country will be a target for those who want to try and establish a dictatorship, no matter what the dictators may call themselves. ie taliban, al queda, plo, hezbollah. Uneducated equals weak minded and easier to controll for the dicators. I hope the people of Afghanistan will see this courageous and intelligent lady as an example of what can be accomplished.

    May 7, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Aemy Mom

    This is a great story! This lady is a HERO and an inspiration to all the women of her country. Keep her and her daughter safe and strong. HOOAH! I agree with the post above give her an apache and take out those woman haters in her country the ones that poison their little girls for becoming educated. Thank you NATO forces for all you do as well.

    Army Mom

    May 7, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  79. DK

    The other thing that puzzles me is that I see a lot of former Soviet equipment there still. I wonder if the current Afghan government is paying off this old debt to the former Soviet Union now the Russian Federation for military hardware supplied almost 20 some years ago. Also if the current inventory is being maintained with parts and technical support from Russia. That would be a good story.

    May 7, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  80. CSTC-AChris

    bailoutsos-Program not being scrapped...we're still here and will be doing this for a while. The Afghan National Army Air Corp training still has many phases to push through before this program will be "scrapped" as you say.

    May 7, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  81. DK

    Yea the Afghan air force was supplied, supported and trained by the Soviets in the 1970's and early 80's. How can the editor make a huge mistake. They flew together against the mujahadeen, even though the Afghan air force at the time had older equipment including the Mig 15- and 17, and some older MI-17 and MI-8 helicoptors, all of which are Soviet built.

    May 7, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  82. GP

    Your welcome to your opinion, but history has shown over and over again, those not willing to fight to pretect themselves will be conquered and enslaved. If you don't want to fight for what you believe in then fine, sit back and let us protect you're choice. However, we who do fight to protect the innocent and abused have no responsiblity to listen to you complain because you don't like the way we chose to protect ourselves and those people of the world who ar not strong enough to resist the evil thrown upon them.

    May 7, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  83. dlap

    The first sentence of this story doesn't make sense. Two decades ago, the Soviets had left. What's more, Afghanistan – the nation – never fought the Soviets. During the Soviet-Afghan war, the government was pro-Soviet.

    May 7, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Duane W

    JM- What you miss is the reason we are there. Did you forget where 9/11 was launched? You think we should not have gottent involved and just let those thousands who died in vain? I for one fully support us being there.

    As for this story, I am glad the people of Afghanistan are taking charge of their country again and want to eradicate the Taliban. This female pilot should hold her head high, I know I respect her.

    May 7, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  85. moon

    wow! what a cool story! I wish her the best. She brings her daughter to work with her, that is fantastic she is able to teach her daughter at a young age. I am more impressed that the military lets her do that. Are they smarter than us?

    May 7, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  86. lapster

    Something else for you onesmallvoice...her helicopter is very much used for transport of cargo and personnel with only a door gun, maybe two for self defense. Its a great jump platform too. I know in your brain housing group that your probably still thinking that it still contributes to death and dying...and you would be right, but the good Afgan Captain isn't directly "gunning" for the opposing force. There, feel a little better?

    May 7, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Liz

    If women in Afghanistan had been well armed in the first place, the Taliban would never have gotten to power. If we want the Taliban out, we need to empower these women to fight for their rights.

    May 7, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  88. JM

    The Taliban committed the worst atrocities in Afghanistan in centuries. If you are purely anti-violence, you should recognize that the Taliban is not the answer and they need to be expelled. If your opinion is the US shouldn't be involved in this conflict, you are welcome to that opinion and please express it wisely and in a logical manner. However, you need to recognize that the Taliban are terrorists and murderes, not a valid and respected military force. The bloodshed that would follow a US withdrawal right now would far outweigh the current violence in the country.

    May 7, 2010 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  89. bailoutsos

    Too bad the shuttle program is getting scrapped. She would have been a good one to train to send to the space station.

    May 7, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  90. In Kabul

    This is a great story. The Afghan National Security Forces are making slow but steady progress in women's issues. My headquarters here in Kabul works with the Army, Police and Air Corps for training and development. The improvements in the security forces are felt throughout the nation.

    ( )

    May 7, 2010 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  91. Iraq Paramedic

    Onesmallvoice, it is never great or good or exiting to kill anyone but, sometimes it is necessary to stop a greater violence being committed against innocent people. These Taliban buy little boys & raise & brainwash them to blow themselves & others up, they maim & kill women for nothing more than wanting an education, they buy & sell little girls as wifes & some times to the drug lords for god knows what, so you tell me young man what would you do, kiss & hug them & talk them into changing. Why don't you grab a plane & come on over & help instead of typing on your computer while pulling your pud!
    May GOD Bless & keep us all !!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 7, 2010 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  92. edmontodontosaurus

    Two decades ago the Afghan Air Force wasn't in full operation against the Soviets, it was in full operation alongside the Soviets as their ally.

    May 7, 2010 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  93. Onesmallvoice

    Here's some more bla-bla-bla from Iraq Paramedic about how great is to kill "Taliban".Now we're going see more and more of this sickening bravado about this obscene war and how these women developed a taste teaching others how to kill.It gets very old!

    May 7, 2010 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  94. Iraq Paramedic

    You give that woman an apache with live ammunition & turn her loose on the Taliban & there will be a lot less Taliban.
    May GOD Bless & keep us all !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 7, 2010 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |