REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- The U.S. Army Security Assistance Command recently facilitated the Foreign Military Sale of three Bell 407 training helicopters to the Government of Iraq.

The helicopters were loaded onto a cargo plane at Huntsville International Airport Dec. 5 and delivered to Camp Taji Dec. 11.

The new training helicopters will help to train qualified Iraqi Army pilots to operate and maintain the helicopters, as well as, rapidly accelerate the fielding and utilization of Iraqi Armed 407 Armed Scout Helicopters which are scheduled to be fielded by the end of 2011.

"To receive the aircraft is something like a dream that became a reality," said Lt. Col. Abbas, a commander and instructor pilot with 21st Squadron, Iraqi Army Aviation Command.

The aircrafts were a large part of the package, which included initial spares, ground support equipment and tools, and aircraft maintenance through contractor logistics support.

"I'd love to see their military have a great capability with these Armed Scout Helicopters so they can establish and maintain stability in their country, which is the overall intent," said Army Chief Warrant Officer Jason Glenn, an Redstone Test Center, Ala., experimental test pilot.

The United States remains committed to working with Iraq as a strategic partner in an effort to ensure peace and security for their country.

"I want to thank all of our friends from the United States because they are always committed to supporting Iraq's journey in democracy and helping us keep security and fight terrorism," said Iraqi Army Gen. Babakir, commander of Iraq's armed forces and Ministry of Defense chief of staff.

USASAC implements approved U.S. Army security assistance programs, including Foreign Military Sales of defense articles and services to eligible foreign governments. The command manages approximately 4,400 FMS cases valued at more than $103 billion. USASAC also manages the Army's co-production program.

Page last updated Wed December 22nd, 2010 at 12:11