It was reported in a press release issued Thursday from Camp Adder in Iraq that the Iraqi air force, which is being rebuilt and trained by the U.S. Air Force, showed proficiency and expertise on Monday as an Iraqi C-130 delivered fresh water to Camp Delta.
This was the first logistical operation carried out by the Iraqi air force since the U.S. went to war with Iraq in early 2003 on suspicions that Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction and was sponsoring terrorist activities directed against the West.
Approximately five truckloads’ volume of palletized water was delivered by the Iraqi-piloted C-130 to Camp Delta. With a newly developed and equipped air force, the Iraqi military can avoid the danger of having to transport all new troop deployments and supplies by overland trucks, which are far more susceptible to attack by suicide bombers or insurgent gunmen. Additionally, air movement will allow greater speed of deployment and delivery of fresh troops and supplies.
A press release on the United States’ Independence Day made it clear that the Iraqi military is becoming more and more a part of the overall military effort to stabilize its nation and rid its soil and cities of the terrorist regimes and hostile insurgents that had been holding Iraq in their velvet-gloved iron fists and attempting to drive the nation into civil war.
The newly trained and equipped Iraqi military is becoming more and more proficient at adding its efforts to those of the coalition forces and thus making it harder and harder for hostile groups of guerrilla fighters to carry out their operations and harm Iraqi civilians.
The training and equipping of a new, revitalized, independent Iraqi armed forces has been touted by many leaders in the United States as the key to what is needed to be able to stabilize the nation while allowing U.S. forces to be withdrawn and permitted to come home to their families and friends.
A strong air force will be a vital component of a new, full-fledged Iraqi armed forces capable of holding its own against hostile powers in the Middle East such as Iran and Syria.
Before the United States went to war the first time against Hussein’s Iraq in 1990, that nation had an air force consisting of approximately 900 aircraft. The United States is now helping Iraq to rebuild that force.
Another press release on Independence Day reported that the Iraqi Air Force has received its first new Mi-17 (exported Russian M-8) transport helicopters. The Iraqi government had ordered 24 used craft along with 10 new Mi-17s, but the order has now been changed to 28 new Mi-17s.
The Iraqi air force utilized the Mi-17 helicopters before the 2003 war, but since losing its air force in battle it has only had nine American UH-1 type choppers in its ranks. M-17 helicopters are much heavier and larger than the UH-1 and can carry more troops or supplies.
By the end of this year, the Iraqi air force anticipates having 50 helicopters and 50 airplanes in its air force.
Sources of Information Used to Research This News Story:
Press Zoom PR, “Coalition, Iraqi Forces Taking Fight to Enemy”
Operation Iraqi Freedom PR, “Iraqi Air Force delivers water, displays proficiency ”
Strategy Page PR, “Iraqi Air Force”