The Iraqi air force has opened new facilities at Ali Air Base in Nasariyah to support Squadron 70, a CH-2000 intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance aircraft unit that transferred to the southern base from Basra in October. They include a new dining facility. Brig. Gen. Scott Hanson, USAF’s director of Iraqi Training and Advisory Mission-Air Force, said Ali is “critical to the future of Iraq’s air sovereignty,” adding that the changes will go a long way to securing Iraq’s southern provinces. Since its relocation, Squadron 70 has provided overhead ISR capability in support of the Hajj and Iraqi security forces, and helped to secure Iraqi’s vital infrastructure and borders. “It took a lot of work to bring Squadron 70 to Ali Base,” said Hanson. He added, “This base ensures the Iraqi air force is capable to take the steps to secure Iraq.” (Ali report by SSgt. Eric Donner)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.