Friday, August 31, 2007

Iraqi air force flies first solo mission

Above: Aviators from the 1st Cavalry Division, and the Coalition Air Force Transition Team join members of the Iraqi air force in to celebrate the completion of the first solo aerial mission.

The Iraqi air force has completed its first unaided mission, a Pentagon news release announced Aug. 30.

Iraqi pilots in an MI-17 helicopter completed “Operation Power Line” on Aug. 25 without assistance from U.S. forces, the release said. The mission, based out of Camp Taji, was an aerial survey of local power lines. Insurgents often cut power lines to disrupt the electricity supply, and a proposed Iraqi ordinance would require civilians to stay a certain distance from downed lines.

Along with monitoring power lines, the Iraqi air force also has moved soldiers, dignitaries and visitors across Iraq.

“They’ve moved about 500 passengers so far this year,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Bryan Bartlett, commander of the 770th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron and the Coalition Air Force Transition Team.

Read the rest at Air Force Times

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