The last Iraqi brigade needed to help retake Mosul from ISIS will be ready in weeks, and the Iraqi Prime Minister has promised citizens of the city that victory is near. Coalition forces have trained 12 Iraqi brigades total, with each ranging from 800 to 1,600 fighters, with many expected to be part of the largest fight against ISIS so far. Each of the brigades gets a unique curriculum based on the requests of the Iraqi government, along with equipment such as body armor, vehicles, and M-16s, said Canadian Armed Forces Brig. Gen. DJ Anderson, the director of partner force development and the ministerial liaison team for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, during a Wednesday briefing. In addition to these fighters, the coalition is training the estimated 30,000-45,000 “hold forces” needed to keep the peace in Mosul once it falls, which includes Iraqi police who will be “the face of security in Iraq.” The Mosul offensive has been anticipated for months, with US Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, saying last month that Iraqi forces are ready and just waiting on the political leadership of the country for the go-ahead. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told residents of Mosul in a radio address Tuesday that “victory is near.” Iraqi forces are advancing and “you are today closer than any previous time to being rescued from the injustice and tyranny and cruelty of ISIS,” he said according to Al Arabiya.
Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) seems increasingly likely.