New Graduates Part Of Biggest Class To Date
Two years ago the idea of having an Iraqi Air Force was laughable. The Iraqi people had a small air force at one time back during the first Gulf War, but their helicopters and aircraft was quickly and completely destroyed by the US and Coalition troops shock and awe campaign back during the war in the 1990s.
After the fall of Saddam, many people on wondered if the Iraqi people would have its own air force in the future. Slowly, United States Air Force personnel began to carefully select and start to train individuals that would later become the backbone of the Iraqi Air Force, and its first officers and lawyers.
The training has continued and the most recent training class of Iraqi Air Force graduates completed their training on August 11th. There were 9 warrant and regular Iraqi Officers and 283 enlisted Iraqi Servicemembers that all completed the intensive and in depth Air Force Training.
The BMT Iraqi Air Force training Academy class was led this time by Iraqi Instructors, working for the first time under close supervision of USAF advisors. It is a classic case of the students graduating and assuming the training leadership role, and the process is nearly complete at this Iraqi Air Force Training academy.
This is the largest class, of 292 students including officers and enlisted men, and they have class advisors from the US Air Force that number 65 Servicemembers from the 370th Expeditionary Training Squadron.
Together, they are helping forge the nucleus of the Iraqi Air Force of Tomorrow.