Schwartz Thanks Airmen in Iraq

Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz thanked airmen serving in Iraq for their role in helping to rebuild the Iraqi air force, which has grown from just 748 airmen and 28 aircraft in 2006 to more than 6,000 airmen and 72 aircraft today. US airmen have played a pivotal role in training Iraqi recruits, said Schwartz during his visit earlier this month to Sather Air Base and FOB Union III. “We have enabled the Iraqis to prepare for their own future,” he said. The Air Force will continue to work with the Iraqis after the US military pullout from Iraq is complete by year’s end, said Schwartz. “The thing that is very important is how professionally you all have run down to the finish line,” he told the airmen at Sather. He added, “We are almost at the goal line. It’s really a great compliment to all of you and your leadership.” (Baghdad release by MSgt. Kerry Jackson)