Friday, April 13, 2007

Iraqis fly first helicopter training sortie

Military transition team members talk with Iraqi air force airmen next to a newly refurbished helicopter

TAJI, Iraq — The Iraqi air force on Tuesday flew its first helicopter training sortie outside Taji Air Base, and an Iraqi helicopter pilot Thursday is set to become the first qualified to fly in combat.

The training sortie, flown by two Huey II helicopters from the Iraqi air force’s 2nd Squadron, is a landmark for the fledgling air force, which has been training with a team of about 100 American advisors. It included live-fire weapons training with Russian machine guns mounted on the aircraft.

The 2nd Squadron is slated to begin flying combat missions in early May, said Capt. Shane Werley, the chief American adviser to the squadron.

Read the rest at Air Force Times

Related Link:
Perspective: Hindered by Delays and Corruption, the Iraqi Air Force Is Flying Again, but Barely

Relaed Link:
U.S. helps rebuild Iraqi air force