The US Air Forces Central Command (USAFCENT), in collaboration with the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, has set up a new Coalition Aviation Advisory and Training Team (CAATT) in Iraq.
With the establishment of the new team, the USAF aims to develop an Iraqi aviation enterprise that would help protect the nation from ISIS and its affiliates.
Partnering with the Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq, the new advisory and training team will focus on improving the aviation capabilities of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF).
The CAATT will provide training and advice, as well as assist the Iraqi Army Aviation Command, Iraqi Air Defense Command, and the Iraqi Air Force.
US Air Forces Central Command commander lieutenant general Jeffrey Harrigian said: “This coalition team of airmen will build upon our Iraqi partner’s combat-proven capabilities to ensure a capable, affordable, professional, and sustainable Iraqi Aviation Enterprise.
“Together with our ISF partners, we will ensure the lasting defeat of ISIS in Iraq.”
However, the establishment of the new unit does not involve a rise in the total number of troops deployed to the Middle East country.
Designed particularly to make use of existing resources and coalition partner capabilities, the new team comprises the US and coalition airmen from multiple specialties.
The coalition, following Iraq’s liberation from ISIS’ physical presence, is transitioning to a more training-focused and building-partner-capacity role.
This will reduce the overall coalition air support as the Iraqi Air Force takes up air missions, duties, and responsibilities required to be adopted to ensure an end to ISIS.