Officials said the center, established in
cooperation with the U.S. military, would significantly enhance Air Force
operations, particularly in the area of intelligence, reconnaissance and
"This new facility will provide the space and enable the technology
needed to produce an integrated air picture across the entire country,
enabling the support not just for the Air Force and Army aviation command,
but potentially to the Army, Navy and even police forces for unified
protection of Iraq," U.S. Brig. Gen. Anthony Rock, air director of the Iraq
Training and Advisory Mission, said.
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Officials said the modular facility cost $9 million and would help fuse
data from a range of air assets. The Iraqi military operates a fleet of more
than 100 platforms, including a range of fixed- and rotary-wing assets.
"In the not-so-distant future, a pilot will be able to capture
information and provide it to more than one source," Rock said. "The
potential exists for imagery to be directly fed to multiple C2 [command and
control] nodes, enabling instantaneous response capability to any threat,
Maj. Christopher Dotour, a U.S. adviser, said the air operations center
marked a nearly four-fold expansion over the previous facility. Dotour said
the project took two years to complete.