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Iraqi Air Force Air Academy reopening

February 22, 2018

AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar — In support of the Government of Iraq’s reopening of the Iraqi Air Force Air Academy at Balad Air Base, Feb 21, 2018, the Coalition Aviation Advisory and Training Team will provide mentorship on topics ranging from aviation safety and flight discipline, to officer professional development and familiarity with aircraft technical orders to its first class of cadets.

Following Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi’s Dec. 10, 2017, announcement that all Iraqi territory was liberated from ISIS, the Iraqi government ushered in the academy’s reopening ahead of schedule, establishing an expeditionary training site

“In coordination with the Iraqi government, the CAATT will help establish standardized upgrade training programs with deliberate development of aviation airmen and maintenance technicians,” said Brig Gen. Andrew Croft, Director of the Coalition Aviation Advisory and Training Team and Vice Commander of 9th Air Expeditionary Task Force-Levant. “Air advisors with the CAATT will also work with these cadets and future students to provide conversational English practice during their job-specific advisory mission.”

The first 40 cadets will begin their coursework in March, and depending on the track, a student can be in training for 18-24 months.

The Iraqi Air Force Air Academy will focus on developing maintenance officers as well as fighter, reconnaissance, and mobility pilots. Iraqi aviators will train on the Cessna 172, Cessna 208, T-6 at Balad AB and the T-50, as an advanced trainer, from the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center.

Upon graduation from the Iraqi Air Force Air Academy, pilots will focus on specialized training at various locations depending on the type of operational platform they are selected to fly, including F-16s, L-159s, C-130Js and C-208s.

The Iraqi Air Force Air Academy is a capability that will build a sustainable aviation institution for Iraq’s future security and defense. The academy is another step towards Iraq rebuilding its military institutions, providing a structure that will continue the professionalization of the Iraqi Air Force.