Iraqi air force increases T-6A inventory

United States Forces – Iraq, Deputy Commanding General (Advising and Training)
Story by Staff Sgt. Amy Mclaughlin and Wayne Hall

Date: 09.21.2010
Posted: 09.21.2010 11:29
News ID: 56697
Iraqi Air Force Increases T-6A Inventory

BAGHDAD - Iraqi air force pilots took possession of three T-6A aircraft in Amman, Jordan, and flew them to Tikrit Sept. 21, bringing their total T-6A inventory to 11.<br /> <br /> Like U.S. military pilots, the Iraqis must master the T-6A before going on to fly more sophisticated multi-role fighter aircraft. <br /> <br /> The Iraqi air force received its first four T-6As in December 2009, followed by four more last February, with an additional four scheduled for delivery in November. <br /> <br /> These additional planes will help the Iraqi air force reach its goal of developing a self-sustaining pilot training program by increasing its capability to train new pilots and strengthening the foundation for a professional, credible and enduring Iraqi air force, said U.S. Air Force Maj. Eric Weingaertner, a training advisor with Iraq Training and Advisory Mission - Air Force.<br /> <br /> The timing of the T-6A arrival coincided with the first graduation ceremony for 20 new Iraqi Air Force pilots – eight fixed-wing and 12 rotary-wing -- at the Iraqi Air Force College. All previous ceremonies took place in Kirkuk. <br /> <br /> This graduation now brings the total number of Iraqi air force pilots trained through this program to 102 – 55 fixed-wing and 47 rotary-wing.<br /> <br /> The Iraqi Air Force College opened its doors for classes in Tikrit March 11.<br /> <br /> The U.S. Air Force’s 52nd Expeditionary Flying Training Squadron is currently training 12 instructor pilot candidates to serve as instructors in the T-6A aircraft. The first four of these instructor pilots are projected to complete training by summer 2011, and the remaining eight by fall 2011.<br />