Monday, May 23, 2005

Good news from Iraq

Mr. Chrenkoff does it again, in part 28 of his excellent "Good News from Iraq series. A teaser:

American airmen are also currently training the reactivated Iraqi air force:

Pilots and enlisted Airmen from the 777th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., are here working hand-in-hand with pilots and crewmembers who served in Saddam Hussein’s air force before Operation Iraqi Freedom.

By the time the program is over, which we estimate to be May 2006, they will be a fully functional squadron,” said Maj. Roger Redwood, operations flight commander for the 23rd Advisory Support Team that is part of the 777th EAS. They are training airmen at Iraq’s 23rd Squadron.

While many of the new recruits have ample flight experience, their exposure to English has been more limited, officials said.

Most of the officers can communicate pretty well, but they have a hard time understanding the radio calls from air traffic control,” Major Redwood said.

They know the airplanes. They know the systems. They can do it all in Arabic, but we require them to do it in English, because if they are going to fly worldwide, they will need to be able to do it in English,” Major Redwood said. The Iraqi airmen are certainly not lacking in determination and dedication, the major said.

“These guys are all true patriots. They want to help their country,” Major Redwood said. “All of them were higher ranking in the Saddam era, so they took a pay cut. A lot of these guys were colonels and now they are majors. The guys coming in now are all captains, and they used to be majors and lieutenant colonels.”

No comments:

Post a Comment