The U.S. Army Security Assistance Command with U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command and Program Executive Office Aviation facilitated and delivered three Bell 407 Scout helicopters to Iraqi Army Aviation today. This marks the sixth completed delivery of Iraqi Armed 407 Scout helicopter through Foreign Military Sales that began in 2010.
"Many of the organizations that support Foreign Military Sales cases and the Security Assistance Enterprise are located on Redstone Arsenal (Ala.), and that means work and funding comes to this community," Kevin Richardson, U.S. Army Security Assistance Command Central Command Region Operations deputy director said.
The helicopters and crew were loaded on an Air National Guard C-17 aircraft on route to Iraq.
Hal Ridley, chief logistician for the Iraqi Armed 407 Program in PEO Aviation, is one of the team members who will fly with the aircraft in the C-17 to Iraq.
"We'll fly to Germany, then to Iraq, offload and reassemble the aircraft, test fly them and conduct a complete inventory of all the items before signing them over to the Iraqis," said Ridley. "It is truly a joint collaboration with many organizations on and outside of Redstone."
"The Joint Munitions Command provided the various types of ammunition that the Iraqis have ordered," Ridley continued. "The Prototype Integration Facility and Yulista also played a big part in the design of the aircraft and building the first prototypes. This program also benefits the Huntsville community because it brings the skill sets into the community such as aircraft and avionics mechanics and technicians."
"The Iraqi Ministry of Defense also has internal requirements beyond the border security mission for the Bell 407 Scout helicopter. For example, these helicopters are also used for patrol and security operations," said Kenneth Morgan, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command.
"We are building partner capacity, which means the Iraqi's are building their own capability that allows them to perform operations that the U.S. is no longer there to provide," Richardson added. "This Foreign Military Sales case is a 'total package.' It also includes training for the pilots, some of which was conducted here at Redstone this summer, and other support that will sustain the systems and our partnership with the government of Iraq well into the future."
Today's delivery included spares parts, ground support equipment and tools, and logistical aircraft maintenance support.
(Source: US Army)