July 16, 2010 (by Lieven Dewitte) - The Iraqi government has signed an agreement with the U.S. government to train 10 Iraqi pilots. The agreement follows a request submitted by Iraq last March to purchase 18 F-16 Block 52s, for which congressional approval is pending.
USAF's F-16 Mission Training Center
The pilot training agreement provides for the training of an initial cadre of ten selectively-chosen Iraqi Air Force pilots who are projected to begin training this fall in the United States. Upon graduation, these pilots will have completed all flight training necessary to move immediately into F-16 flying training.
The program will include all necessary components of T-6A Texan II and T-38 Talon training including a course called Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals. The intensive flight training will be complemented with specialized English language training for aviation. The training for each student will last from 12 to 17 months depending on the experience level of the pilot.