Saturday, August 21, 2004

Flying The Unfriendly Skies

Seabird Seekers
Iraq’s new air force took to the skies this week for the first time since the coalition invaded last year and disbanded the country’s armed forces, the US military said.

Iraqi pilots flew two Seabird Seeker SB7L-360 reconnaissance aircraft on what the US military described as “limited operations missions intended to protect infrastructure facilities and Iraq’s borders”.

The two light reconnaissance planes are fitted with surveillance systems that can transmit live video images to ground forces. They are the first of a fleet that will eventually number 10 aircraft, the statement said.

Coalition forces and neighbouring Jordan have been training Iraq’s 162-member air force, which is expected to grow to around 500 by December 2004.

Good news. The sooner the Iraqi military is controlling ground and air, the sooner US troops can come home.

Blonde nod to The Agonist.

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