Progress

Women Enter Afghani Air Force

Masooma Hussaini is just one of a solid group of young women who have decided to join the newly-reformed Afghan Air Force. The recruits train with their male counterparts in a facility known as “Thunder Lab”—the only difference is the black head scarves they wear and the separate living conditions. The female pilots are also unmarried, and they’re all around 19 years old. That’s a major age gap from their male colleagues, many of whom are in their 40s. Despite the gaps in age, Lt. Col. John Howard, the head of Thunder Lab, reports that the women are excelling faster than the men at learning English—part of the new requirements for pilots—and could be transferred to the U.S. shortly for additional military training. A decade ago, these new implementations would have been unheard of in the Taliban-controlled country. But the government of Afghanistan recently aired commercials asking for women to join the air force.