C-130 Milestone for Iraqis, US Advisors

The Iraqi air force began fully independent C-130 operations Tuesday at New Al Muthana AB, Iraq, marking the end of the US air advisory mission there. USAF and IqAF officials held a ceremony that day marking the latter’s Squadron 23 assuming complete responsibility for its operations, maintenance, and training. At the same, time the USAF’s 321st Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron, which stood up in 2006 (then as the 370th AEAS) to help the Iraqis, was deactivated. “The Iraqi pilots, navigators, flight engineers, loadmasters, and maintainers have clearly demonstrated that they are ready to perform their missions and, most importantly, to do it well,” said Maj. Gen. Robert Kane, who heads the Coalition Air Force Transition Team. He also praised the USAF advisors for their work. (AFPS report and New Al Muthana report by SrA. Alyssa C. Miles)