It’s a New Dawn

Wednesday marks the start of Operation New Dawn in Iraq and the end of formal combat operations for US forces there. But for the roughly 6,000 airmen that will remain in Iraq, the mission stays essentially the same. “Operation New Dawn really doesn’t change anything for our airmen,” said Maj. Gen. Joseph Reynes, who’s been the top airman in Iraq for the past 18 months. “We’re still going to be providing [intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance]. We’re still going to be providing timely and precise cargo and passenger movement. And of course, every day and every night, there is going to be aircraft airborne just in case kinetics are needed, and, in more cases, just for that presence over the battlefield for 24/7, 365 overwatch.” At the same time, airmen will continue to help grow the capabilities of the Iraqi air force, he said. By the end of 2011, all US military personnel are expected to be out of Iraq. (Camp Victory report by SSgt. Sanjay Allen)