Air Force officials transferred the final sector of northern Iraq’s airspace to the Iraq Civil Aviation Authority in Baghdad, leaving only one sector of Iraqi airspace still outside of Iraqi control. The ICAA received control of airspace in Kirkuk from ground level to 15,000 feet on Aug. 25. “This milestone means Iraq is one step closer to assuming full control of its national airspace system and achieving true airspace sovereignty,” said Maj. Adam Fiedler, airspace planner with the US Forces-Iraq’s air component coordination element. Fiedler said this particular transfer is significant because it was “the most complex airspace sector the ICAA has taken to date.” The last sector of Iraq’s airspace under US control—the area above Baghdad—will revert to Iraqi oversight in October, culminating the gradual transfer of authority that began in January 2009. (Baghdad report by Maj. Stacie N. Shafran)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.