• CAMP TAJI, Iraq - Karkh Area Command Strike Team Soldiers rush out onto a simulated battlefield during a joint air assault demonstration, March 29. After Spending several months training, the KAC Strike Team and the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division-Center, put together the demonstration to show Iraqi Army leadership the effectiveness of air assault assets.

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq - Karkh Area Command Strike...

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq - Karkh Area Command Strike Team Soldiers rush out onto a simulated battlefield during a joint air assault demonstration, March 29. After Spending several months training, the KAC Strike Team and the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry...

  • CAMP TAJI, Iraq - After a joint air assault demonstration, Iraqi soldiers from the Karkh Area Command Strike Team, quickly load back onto an Iraqi Air Force MI-17 helicopter. Soldiers from Company F, 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division-Center, also assaulted the objective from a UH-60 Black Hawk. This demonstration was designed to show how the already elite KAC Strike Team has even greater capabilities when combined with the IqAF

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq - After a joint air assault...

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq - After a joint air assault demonstration, Iraqi soldiers from the Karkh Area Command Strike Team, quickly load back onto an Iraqi Air Force MI-17 helicopter. Soldiers from Company F, 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air...

  • CAMP TAJI, Iraq - After assaulting an objective, Karkh Area Command Strike Team soldiers (foreground) pull security while waiting for an MI-17 HIP helicopter to extract them from the simulated battlefield March 29. Soldiers of Company F (background), 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division-Center, spent several months training the KAC Strike Team. The Iraqi forces were eager to demonstrate their capabilities during an air assault performance in front of Lt. Gen. Ali Hamadi Tahir, the Karkh Area commander for western Baghdad.

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq - After assaulting an...

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq - After assaulting an objective, Karkh Area Command Strike Team soldiers (foreground) pull security while waiting for an MI-17 HIP helicopter to extract them from the simulated battlefield March 29. Soldiers of Company F (background)...

  • CAMP TAJI, Iraq - An MI-17 HIP helicopter from the Iraqi Air Force and a UH-60 Black Hawk from 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division-Center, land on a simulated battlefield March 29 during an air assault demonstration. The leadership of 1st ACB, along with Lt. Gen. Ali Hamadi Tahir, the Karkh Area commander for western Baghdad and Brig. Gen. Kevin Mangum, deputy commanding general of 1st Armored Division, USD-C, observed the capabilities of the Iraqi Air Force and KAC Strike Team soldiers from a nearby tower.

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq - An MI-17 HIP helicopter from...

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq - An MI-17 HIP helicopter from the Iraqi Air Force and a UH-60 Black Hawk from 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division-Center, land on a simulated battlefield March 29 during...

CAMP TAJI, Iraq - After spending several weeks working with an Iraqi strike force on planning and executing air assault missions and the importance of air-ground integration, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade concluded the training with a culminating demonstration March 29 to show off their newly capabilities.

Attending the demonstration, conducted by Soldiers of 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, U.S. Division-Center, was Lt. Gen. Ali Hammadi Tahir, the Karkh Area commander for western Baghdad, and Brig. Gen. Kevin Mangum, deputy commanding general-center of USD-C, who were able to see the already strong abilities of the KAC Strike Team enhanced by an aviation platform.

"This demonstration shows the cooperation between [the Iraqi military] and U.S. forces, and it is important that the Iraqi command was included for this demonstration to see the execution method," said Ali. "This is to lead us in the future to hope that we will be expanding this type of operation more and more."

The Strike Team Soldiers are a group based out of Baghdad who works directly for the KAC. Out of the 110 who graduated the intense training to form the strike team, 70 were picked to be trained on this advanced aerial insertion technique.

The KAC Strike Team flew on an MI-17 HIP helicopter, piloted by the Iraqi Air Force. 1st ACB Soldiers supported the demonstration from a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, while an attack weapons team, comprised of two AH-64D Apache attack helicopters, provided aerial coverage for the assault force.

"In certain types of missions, the forces would not be able to get to the objective by ground or the enemy would be alerted to the assault force coming," said Metzger, commander of 3-227th.

"The advantages of the Karkh Soldiers being capable of air assault procedures on an MI-17 helicopter make a very lethal platform," continued Metzger.

However, this platform is only as good as the Soldiers who conduct the missions, which is why the KAC Strike Team was picked for this training, said leaders.

"We had the task of training the Karkh Strike Team to have advanced air assault capabilities," said 1st Lt. Austin Huckabee, from San Angelo, Texas, platoon leader in Company F, 3-227th. "They were already a squared-away ground unit, but to add to their combat capabilities to act as a force multiplier, we have spent the last couple of months conducting classes and training to get them to [this level]."

Soldiers of Co. F trained Iraqi forces on air assault missions in the past, but this time they taught the Iraqi soldiers how to take the lead in the missions, said Huckabee.

With the strike team on the ground and taking the lead during the demonstration, they had direct radio contact with the attack weapons team, which is an important part of air-ground integration, said Metzger.

"This was done through precise planning - the experience of the people that led this mission, the capabilities and great method of cooperation in the partnership of the ISF and the U.S. Forces," said Ali.

The 1st ACB has spent the majority of its 11 deployed months working to bring the Iraqi Air Force and the Iraqi Army into a partnership built on mutual trust and respect.

Ali said the demonstration highlighted their progress: "This is a positive message to the local citizens of Iraq that there is a bridge of trust between the Iraqi ground forces and air forces."

Page last updated Wed March 31st, 2010 at 11:58