Plan to Deliver F-16s to Iraq on Hold
“A plan to start delivering F-16s to Iraq in September is on hold until the security situation improves,” the Military Times reports.
“Last month, the U.S. evacuated contractors building the base for the F-16s at Balad as Sunni militants took large swathes of Iraq.”
“Currently, 18 Iraqi pilots are training in the U.S. to fly F-16s, including 12 flying F-16s at Tucson, Ariz… While the Iraqi pilots are skilled aviators, they need hundreds of flight hours in F-16s to become flight leads and instructor pilots, said Tom Fox, Iraq Training Team Lead at AETC. The complete training program could take two more years, but their government may call them to fly combat missions before then.”