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    Iraqi air force graduates 247 cadets

    Iraqi Air Force Graduates 247 Cadets

    Photo By Master Sgt. Patricia Bunting | Candy covers the parade grounds during a pass in review at the Iraqi air force officer...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    U.S. Air Forces Central, Baghdad Media Outreach Team

    By Senior Airman Jarrod R. Chavana

    RUSTAMIYAH, Iraq -- More than 240 cadets graduated, Jan. 10, from the Iraqi air force officer course basic military training.

    In a two month course the 247 graduates at Iraqi Military Academy-Rustamiyah were educated in professionalism, teamwork, management and the leadership skills required to be an officer.

    "The staff and students have a strong desire to improve their country," said Lt. Col. David Keller, the 821st Expeditionary Training Squadron chief of the Iraqi air force officers program, who is deployed from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. "There is an intense national pride that is energizing to be around."

    This class trained alongside more than 200 Iraqi army troops and is the largest Iraqi air force group to graduate from the Iraqi officer course since OIF kicked off.

    "This graduation is historic for the Iraqis because it's the first time there has been more Iraqi air force cadet's graduate than army," said Capt. Brian Spliethof, the Iraqi Training and Advisory Mission personnel deputy director, deployed from Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. "Also this will be the last air force class to graduate from Rustamiyah."

    The Iraqis are re-opening the air force academy in Tikrit in mid 2010 that will host the future Iraqi air force officer course.

    Brig. Gen. Scott Hanson, ITAM-AF commander, representing the Nato Training Mission-Iraqi commanding general said, "The future of the Iraqi military, both Airmen and soldiers, demonstrated in part today the precision and coordination associated with professional, joint fielded forces. The graduates' families pride was evident, as they witnessed their sons who join today the ranks of those providing increasing security and stability for Iraq."

    With the drawdown of U.S troops in Aug of 2010, ITAMs continuing mission, in conjunction with NTM-I, is to help the Iraqi schoolhouse build a self- sufficient, self-enduring technical training course. This will assist Iraq to build its own military, trained by its own people, without the need of U.S. forces.



    Date Taken: 01.10.2010
    Date Posted: 01.13.2010 06:04
    Story ID: 43757
    Location: RUSTAMIYAH, IQ 

    Web Views: 404
    Downloads: 303