Iraq Air Force Increases Operations
BAGHDAD [MENL] -- The Iraq Air Force has intensified operations in 2008.
Officials said the air force, with 100 pilots, has conducted more than
5,000 sorties this year. They said the amount marked an 80 percent increase
over 2007, when the air force flew 7,663 sorties.
"We are now seeing concrete evidence that [the Iraq Air Force] have
returned to the [sky] and are proving themselves a credible force for
safety, security and sovereignty," Col. David Penny, the 370th Air
Expeditionary Advisory Group commander, said. "The Iraqis' sortie production
rate is already 80 percent higher than it was last year. That's auspicious
for any nation's air force."
Officials said the air force played a major role in the Iraqi military
and police operation in Basra in late March. They said the air force, with
eight rotary and fixed-wing flying units, also conducted reconnaissance and
other missions during operations in Mosul and Baghdad's Sadr City in May.