Mattis praises Afghan president's commitment to security

The highest priority skill set for the Afghan pilots is close air support.
The highest priority skill set for the Afghan pilots is close air support. | File photo
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis conferred with President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan this week regarding the two countries’ security relationship.
As the two spoke via phone, Mattis recognized Ghani’s strong leadership qualities “and emphasized the importance of the government of national unity to the stability of Afghanistan,” Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Department of Defense spokesman, said.
“The highest priority skill set for the Afghan pilots is close air support,” Davis said. To be equipped with these skills, “pilots are trained to employ rockets, precision-guided bombs, general purpose bombs and strafing in support of ground troops.”
During the call, Ghani made clear he is hopeful for the continuation of the security relationship and his commitment to reforms. In addition, he told Mattis he is persistent with controlling corruption.
Mattis also offered his condolences for the sacrifices of the Afghan people and commended Ghani's unwavering commitment in the wake of numerous terrorist attacks.

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