The commanding general of the Iraqi air force paid a visit to Joint Base San Antonio July 2-5 to view and discuss current U.S.-led training for Iraqi airmen.
Staff Pilot Lt. Gen. Anwar Hamad Ameen Ahmed, Iraqi air force commander, met with Air Education and Training Command senior leaders at JBSA-Randolph and visited the Defense Language Institute English Language Center at JBSA-Lackland.
Col. Thomas Schadegg, Air Force Security Assistance Training Squadron commander, said these visits establish a personal communication that is greater than emails.
“It’s about building upon that partnership and the more of these personal interactions and skills that we have in common for the security of the region for both our shared interests, these are great things,” Schadegg said. “I truly believe that the United States benefits, as well as Iraq.”
Anwar has made five visits to the United States to speak with senior leaders about collaborative training endeavors and witness firsthand what his airmen are learning.
Iraqi aircrew members, maintainers and a various other career field personnel are enrolled in pilot and technical training course for airframes such as the T-6 Texan II, T-38 Talon, and F-16 Fighting Falcon across AETC. Each class graduation is another step closer for Iraqi air force’s and its nation’s goal of securing Iraq’s national defense.
“I am proud that I am the Iraqi air force commander,” said Anwar. “I want to build the air force. We started from zero in 2003. I am so proud that when I see today the air force growing day after day. This is our future.”
By flying F-16s at Tucson International Airport, Ariz., with the 162nd Fighter Wing, and turning wrenches on aircraft at Sheppard AFB, Texas, alongside their American counterparts, Anwar hopes to build the Iraqi air force up to U.S. Air Force standards.