Flight training of Iraqi air force helicopter pilots is slated to begin in mid-January now that the needed Bell Jet Ranger 206B rotorcraft have started arriving in country.
The first five of the rotorcraft were brought to Iraq by C-17 this month to equip Iraqi air force Squadron 2 at Kirkuk, according to the Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq, which is leading the effort to rebuild the Iraqi air force. Five more Jet Rangers already operating in Taji are going to be shifted to Kirkuk to augment Squadron 2.
The Bell Jet Rangers are designated to be used for instrument training, while OH-58s are tagged as primary trainers.
Kirkuk is the Iraqi air force’s main training facility. It’s also where fixed-wing pilot training takes place. The first pilot class graduated in October.
(credit for both pictures: USAF Master Sgt. Andrew Leonhard)