Success In The Air Begins To Happen With Coalition Help
The overall success of the new Iraqi Air Force has been slowly building. With a great level of assistance from various Coalition ground and Aviation assets, the new Iraq Air Force has begun to enjoy a gradual level of success.
Air Force Major General Robert R. Allardice is the Air Force Coalition Transition Team Commander, and he spoke recently about the growing successes that the Iraqi Air Force is beginning to enjoy. He said that that the Air Force of Iraq was flying about 30 sorties a week in 2007, and by the end of 2008 they will be in the neighborhood of 300 sorties flown each week.
During the same period the number of airplanes that Iraq has in its Air Force has grown from 28 to 56 aircraft flying under the Iraqi flag. The Air Force that was in place at the fall of Saddam was a joke, with aged, outdated aircraft, and a number of pilots who had flew or gone absent. With the aid of the Coalition, that has slowly changed.
“The Air Force of Iraq has slowly grown back into a credible force serving the Iraqi Nation,” said Major General Allardice. Allardice spoke to reporters at a Pentagon News Briefing about the current state of the Iraqi Air Force.
General Allardice has been in command of the Transition Coalition Air Force team for about a year, and has seen the growth of the Iraqi Air Force firsthand. “When I first arrived the Air Force of Iraq was just beginning to grow. With a lot of hard work and a influx of about 360 personnel and coalition help, they have grown a great deal in a year,” said General Allardice.