Iraqi Air Force

US Supports Reopening of Iraqi Air Force Air Academy

The United States congratulates the Government of Iraq and the Iraqi Air Force on the reopening of its Air Force Air Academy, which took place at Balad Air Force Base today.

The United States and the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS will support the new Academy by providing mentoring to the Academy’s first class of cadets on topics ranging from aviation safety and flight discipline to officer professional development and familiarity with aircraft technical orders.

Following Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi’s announcement in December 2017 on the full liberation of Iraqi territory from ISIS, the Iraqi government took steps to reopen the Academy’s ahead of schedule, establishing an expeditionary training site at Balad Air Force Base until a final main campus is established.

“In coordination with the Iraqi government, the Coalition will help establish standardized upgrade training programs with deliberate development of aviation airmen and maintenance technicians,” said Brig Gen. Andrew Croft, Director of the Coalition Aviation Advisory and Training Team. “Air advisors with the Coalition will also work with these cadets and future students to provide conversational English practice as part of their training.”

The Iraqi Air Force Air Academy will focus on developing maintenance officers as well as fighter, reconnaissance, and mobility pilots. Iraqi aviators will train on the Cessna 172, Cessna 208, T-6, and T-50 aircraft.

The first 40 cadets will begin their coursework in March. Upon graduation from the Academy, pilots will focus on specialized training at various locations in Iraq.

Through this support to the Government of Iraq, the United States and the Coalition are helping to build a sustainable aviation institution for Iraq’s future security and defense needs. The Academy is another step in Iraq rebuilding its military institutions, and will give them a structure that will continue the professionalization of their Air Force.

(Source: US Embassy in Baghdad)

US Firm wins $45m Iraq Training Deal

By John Lee.

Spartan Air Academy Iraq LLC., Addison, Texas, has been awarded a $45,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the stand-up of an Air Academy training in support of the Iraq Air Force.

Work will be performed at Balad Air Base, Iraq, and is expected to be complete by Feb. 8, 2019.

This award is the result of a country-directed sole-source acquisition.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

US Approves $181m Aircraft Maintenance Deal

By John Lee.

The US State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Iraq for AC-208 sustainment, logistics, and spares support.

The estimated cost is $181 million.

The Government of Iraq has requested a possible sale of a five-year sustainment package for its AC/RC-208 fleet that includes: operational, intermediate, and depot-level maintenance; spare parts; component repair; publication updates; maintenance training; and logistics. Also included in this sale are Contract Logistics Services (CLS), training services, and Contract Engineering Services.

The purchase of this sustainment package will allow the Iraqi Air Force (IqAF) to continue to operate its fleet of eight C-208 light attack and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft beyond the June 2016 end of its existing CLS contract. Limited IqAF maintenance capability necessitates continued CLS. Ultimately, the goal is for the IqAF to become self-sufficient in the areas of aircraft maintenance and logistics training. Iraq will have no difficulty absorbing this support.

The principal contractors will be Orbital ATK in Falls Church, Virginia, and Flight Safety International in Flushing, New York.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

(Source: US Defense Security Cooperation Agency)

Iraq Takes Delivery of Ground Attack Jets

By Simon Kent.

Iraq’s Ministry of Defence has announced that a delivery of three SU-25 ground attack aircraft have arrived in the country for the fight against the so called Islamic State.

The Russian made SU-25, known by its NATO code name “Frogfoot,” is a slow moving but heavily armed ground attack jet, and several are already in service in the Iraqi Air Force.

(Source: UPI)



US Approves $350m Beechcraft Iraq Deal

The US State Department’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Iraq for KA-350 [King Air 350] sustainment, logistics, and spares support.

The estimated cost is $350 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on February 23, 2016.

The Government of Iraq is requesting a five-year sustainment package for its KA-350 fleet that includes operational and intermediate depot level maintenance, spare parts, component repair, publication updates, maintenance training, and logistics.

The Iraq Air Force (IqAF) operates five (5) King Air 350 ISR (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance) and one (1) King Air 350 aircraft. The KA-350 aircraft are Iraq’s only ISR-dedicated airborne platforms and are used to support Iraqi military operations against Al-Qaeda affiliates and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) forces.

The purchase of a sustainment package will allow the IqAF to continue to operate its fleet of six (6) KA-350 aircraft beyond September 2016 (end of the existing Contract Logistics Support (CLS) effort). Iraq will have no difficulty absorbing this support.

The proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security goals of the United States by helping to improve a critical capability of the Iraq Security Forces in defeating ISIL.

The prime contractor will be Beechcraft Defense Company, Wichita, KS.

Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Iraq.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

(Source: Defense Security Cooperation Agency)

Iraqi F-16s Debut Against ISIS

By Simon Kent.

Iraq’s long awaited delivery of F-16 fighter bombers have now made their combat debut, The Guardian reports.

The jets made 15 sorties in Salahaddin, a key front north of Baghdad where the Baiji oil refinery and nearby town are still contested battle zones.

The Guardian report suggests that with Coalition strikes hitting ISIS on a daily basis, the new aircraft may not make much difference on the ground.

However, the full delivery of 35 aircraft, when all are operational in Iraq, will certainly pose a threat to ISIS positions.

Iraqi commanders will be able to call in significant, pin point fire-power against terrorist positions without having to await a long approval process through their Coalition allies.

If coordination is good, Iraqi F-16s flying from Iraqi bases will be on station to attack ISIS positions in a very short time frame.

Source: The Guardian.


Iraqi F-16′s Ready For Shipment

By John Lee.

The first of 36 Iraqi F-16′s will shortly be shipped from Texas to the Iraqi air force, Lockheed Martin have announced.

An official ceremony to mark the transfer of the jets will take place at Lockheed Martin’s plant at Fort Worth, attended by Iraqi Ambassador to the US Lukman Faily.

Iraq Business News has noted that US contractors will be heading out to Balad air base in Iraq to make alterations for the aircraft’s arrival. A small number of US support personnel will also be based in Iraq to help oversee the transfer of technology.

Ambassador Faily hailed the first shipment of the aircraft as a blow against terrorism in Iraq, noting how some pilots were already trained to fly the jets. The F-16′s will form the backbone of Iraq’s fledgling air force. Amb. Faily remarked how the US understood the severity of the terrorism challenge in Iraq:

“They know that the sooner and the wider capabilities they provide us, the more ability we will have to reduce the vicious cycle of killing where the terrorists are attacking our people.” 

(Source: Reuters)

US Medical Firm Wins Balad Contract

By John Lee.

CHS Middle East,  a subsidiary of Comprehensive Health Services Inc, will be providing a range of medical support from life saving surgery to dental treatment for US contractors deployed to Iraq under the Foreign Military Sales program.

The contractors will be providing training and technical support to the Iraqi airforce on the delivery of F-16 fighter jets, which will initially be operated from Balad airbase.

Iraq has ordered 18 of the fourth generation multi role fighters (pictured) which when delivered will form the backbone of the Iraqi air force. CHS Middle East’s contract is one of a number of contracts awarded by the US air force for work at Balad, UPI reports.

Gary Palmer, president of CHSi expressed his delight at the award of the contract:

“The health of overseas personnel is critical to the success of operations in Iraq. CHSi, especially our international support team based in Cape Canaveral, is proud to have been selected to provide critical high-quality, workforce health solutions to support the men and women performing mission-critical work at the Balad Air Base.”

(Source: UPI)