The author, writing directly from his personal experiences, describes the difficulty of leading air force activities in a complex operation like in Afghanistan. Not only gaining and maintaining air superiority, and providing air support and transport, was on the agenda of ISAFs air force headquarters and military leaders. Difficult geographical and topographical conditions made air traffic control impossible in most of the country, among others causing unique challenges in deconfliction of missions. Doctrinal differences had to be coped with for air-ground synchronisation. An insufficiently timely exchange of mutual know-how about capabilities and restrictions led to a sub-optimal use of the air forces. National caveats were another point of concern, as was preventing collateral damage. Like ground forces, air force headquarters was tasked with reconstruction and development of the Afghan civilian (aviation) sector. In todays conflicts air forces, but also navies, have to fulfil a complex set of tasks, not all of them being military by nature.