Iraqi Helicopter Fleet Grows

US and Iraqi officials celebrated the delivery of four Mi-171E helicopters late last month to Camp Taji, Iraq, for the Iraqi army. Their arrival gave the Iraqis 10 of the 14 Mi-171Es ordered last year with US assistance and grew their overall Mi-17 inventory to 34 (18 Mi-171Es and 16 legacy Mi-171s). The remaining four Mi-171Es are scheduled for delivery before the fall. More than a dozen US advisors from the Iraq Training and Advisory Mission-Air and Iraq Security Assistance Mission were alongside their Iraqi partners as two of the four new Mi-171Es flew into Taji on April 27. “This is a very big day for not only the Iraqi Army Aviation Command, but more importantly, it’s another big step in the strengthening partnership between the United States and Iraq,” said Brig. Gen. Robert McMurry, ISAM director. (Camp Taji report by TSgt. Jason Lake)