In May, the U.S. military oversaw a ceremony for the opening of a
metals technology and sheet metal shop in Iraq's largest maintenance hangar.
The ceremony at Camp Taji commemorated the construction of two maintenance
shops, meant to provide first and second-level repair capability for
Mi-171E, UH-1, T-407 and EC-635 aircraft.
The Mi-17 is a Russian helicopter while the UH-1, Iriquois, T-407 were
produced in the United States. The EC-635 is a French-origin platform.
"This accomplishment significantly advances the Iraqi Army Aviation
Command's organic structural-repair capability to enhance overall fleet
readiness," U.S. adviser Maj. Claudio Covacci said.
In 2011, the Iraqi Army Aviation Command assumed responsibility for all
periodic inspection and maintenance activities. So far, the Iraqi personnel
have been supervised by U.S. civilian contractors, many of whom were
expected to leave Iraq with the U.S. military in late 2011.
"Over the last several years, the Iraqi Army Aviation Command sheet
metal and machine shop technicians have been incrementally growing to
maturity," Covacci said. "The newly-acquired repair facilities provide a
state-of-the-art capability that builds trust and confidence in Iraqi flying