Two Afghan pilot trainees are missing after failing to report for duty at a Georgia U.S. Air Force base.
Officials at Moody AFB in Valdosta, Georgia released this statement.
Two male Afghan air force students did not report for duty yesterday at their regular maintenance training at Moody AFB in Valdosta, Georgia. Both are assigned to the 81st Fighter Squadron. They have been at Moody since. February 2015 and were screened prior to their arrival in the United States more than a year ago. The students have trained alongside American counterparts for the entirety of 2015 and do not pose any apparent threat. There is a well-coordinated process among federal agencies to locate the individuals as quickly as possible and return them accordingly to the proper authorities to manage their present situation.
The pilots were part of a training program announced in late 2014, according to WTXL-TV. The pilots were all personally screened by the unit commander. “They all to some degree have all suffered under the hands of the Taliban so I can tell you having talked to them personally, they are all motivated to get trained,” said Lt. Col. Jeff Hogan, Light Air Support training unit commander.
The unit supports 20 A-29 Super Tucano training aircraft and 17 Air Force instructor pilots to train a total of 30 Afghan pilots through 2018.
In September 2014, three Afghan soldiers who went AWOL from a military base on Cape Cod, Mass. were caught at the Canadian border, about 450 miles from where they were supposed to be. They went missing during a chaperoned visit to a local shopping mall.
With the heightened tension surrounding Islamic extremists entering the U.S., any highly-trained military personnel from a Muslim country gone missing on American soil is sure to make local residents nervous.
Facebook commenter AC Anderson wrote “So we think we can keep an “eye” on a few thousand refugees but we have no idea where these two guys are?” Germain Vanks commented “‘missing Afghan men were screened before arriving in the U.S.’…. Well, that makes us feel much safer.”
Commenter Michelle Hughes got right to the point, “still think Trump is wrong?”