Iraqi Vipers Arrive In Tucson

Iraq’s first two F-16D two-seat Vipers recently were delivered to the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Fighter Wing at Tucson to begin Iraqi pilot training there. “The arrival of Iraqi purchased and owned F-16s is a tremendous step towards Iraqi air force pilots providing organic air power for their country,” said Air Force international affairs chief Maj. Gen. Lawrence Martin in a release. “Once they’re done with their training here in Tucson they’ll go home and go right into operations,” added instructor pilot Lt. Col. Julian Pacheco. “Every lesson we can impart to the students, is critical because they’ll be using those skills as soon as they go home” in the fight against ISIS, he said. Iraq has ordered a total of 36 F-16s, eight of which are slated for delivery to Tucson, due to the fluid security situation in Iraq. The first jets touched down on Dec. 16, according to the wing.