Camp Taji, Iraq- One of the efforts by the United States Air Force has been the support and rebuilding of the Iraqi Air Force. They have worked to train Iraqi Airmen, to provide helicopters for flight operations, and to make sure that the Iraqi Air Force is a functioning independent unit able to mount flight operations.
In a recent show of how well the partnership has progressed, pilots from both Iraqi and the United States flew transport missions together over Baghdad for the first time in a combined flight mission.
?The significance is great, it means the Iraqi Air Force is progressing at a good speed toward being truly independent,? said Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Michel McNerney.
Lieutenant Colonel McNerney is the Commander of the 721st Air Expeditionary Advisory Air Force Squadron that participated in the combined joint mission. The aircraft from both countries made stops at different bases for the Coalition and for the Iraqi Forces in the Baghdad greater area.
The ground forces in Iraq have gotten a lot of attention and resources, but the Iraqi Air Force has made do with less, and despite this they have progressed and grown at a impressive rate. The Iraqi Rotary Wing Air Force has made strides especially in the last 18 months to help prevent a lot of the counter insurgency in the region.