Czech Air Advisory Team in preparation to assist Iraq pilots in operating the L-159 ALCA aircraft

A team of thirty air instructors are currently undertaking the final weeks of their training at the Military Academy in Vyskov before their deployment to Iraq next month.

"By deploying our soldiers to Iraq, we become active participants in the 'Inherent Resolve' operation in the fight against Daesh," said Minister of Defence Martin Stropnicky.

The instructors’ mission is to provide advisory support and mentoring to the Iraqi pilots, ground personnel and aviation experts in all aspects of flying, combat engagement, and the technical maintenance of the L-159 Advanced Light Combat Aircraft.

The Iraqi Air Force will operate twelve L-159 subsonic fighter jets manufactured by the Czech company, Aero Vodochody, located on the outskirts of Prague.

The Advisory Team is made up of soldiers from the 21st Tactical Air Force Base at Caslav, which is the home of the L-159 aircraft, the personnel of the Military Police and the Military Medical Agency. The team, whose deployment was agreed by the Czech Parliament last week, will be based at the Balad Air Base, approximately 60 km from Baghdad, and is mandated until the end of 2018.

By Nuala Casey and Oldrich Holecek

May 9, 2016