Iraq Gets Trainer Aircraft

The fledgling Iraqi Air Force on July 9 took delivery of 11 training aircraft from the United States during a transfer-of-ownership ceremony at New Al Muthana AB. Iraq. During the event, Army Lt. Gen. Frank Helmick, the new commander of Multi-National Security Transition Command Iraq, signed over eight Cessna 172 and three larger, more advanced Cessna Caravan 208 airplanes worth more than $9 million to Iraqi Defense Minister Abd al-Qadir al-Mufriji. The Iraqis will use the aircraft for pilot training at Kirkuk Regional AB. Also at the ceremony, the IAF unveiled its newly purchased Beechcraft King Air surveillance and light transport aircraft. (New Al Muthana report Army SSgt. Michael Carden)