30 Dec '12, 2am

Afghanistan female air force pilots left grounded

Masooma Hussaini, 2nd Lt., 21, right, is one of two Afghan Air Force helicopter pilots who was trained in the United States. She returned to Kabul in late October, but has still not gotten orders, uniforms, or an assignment. "I fought too hard for the right to fight for my country - I'm not about to stay home and wait," Hussaini said. Woman in background is not a pilot. Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/MCT KABUL, Afghanistan — Unlike most women in Afghanistan, Sourya Saleh knows how to drive — but she’s taken the wheel only with her brother beside her, out of respect for tradition. Her friend Masooma Hussaini is still learning. Both young women, though, are experts in a more demanding mode of travel: They’ve flown 204 hours each as pilots of military helicopters. The first female chopper pilots in Afghanistan since the Soviets trained a woman as a pilot in the 1980s, these t...

Full article: http://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/afghanistan-femal...

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