Jun 9, 2014
Iraqi F-16s to Be Based Out of Balad
Balad was a major US base during the war and one of the busiest airfields in the world at one point. Now the US government is helping the Iraqis make sure the base will be ready for the first batch of F-16s, which are expected to be delivered in September.
On Thursday, the Iraqi government took ownership of the first of 36 F-16s fighters that will be delivered between September and the fall of 2017.
US officials have pressed the Iraqi government to stop Iran from using Iraqi airspace to fly weapons and other supplies to President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria.
Iraqi pilots have been training to fly F-16s in the US. Eight have graduated from the basic course.