Coalition Aviation Advisory and Training Team established in Iraq

Staff Sgt. Dakota Rhine, 442nd Air Expeditionary Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of the Baghdad aerial port (left) and Staff Sgt. Timothy Riddle, 370th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron, air advisor, review revised technical and training manuals with Iraqi Air Force Airmen in Baghdad, Iraq, Jan. 16, 2018. Air advisors support the Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve through an advise and assist mission, which consists of a small team working alongside Iraqi Airmen in day-to-day airfield operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. William Banton)

The Iraqi Aviation Enterprise provides air defense of critical national assets, manages airspace in coordination with Iraqi Civil Aviation, provides ISR (including armed overwatch), precision attack, close air support, and air mobility in direct support of the Iraqi Security Force and designated government ministries to ensure internal and external defense of Iraq's sovereign territory and airspace.

AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar -- U.S. Air Forces Central Command, in coordination with Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, stood up a Coalition Aviation Advisory and Training Team in Iraq Feb. 1.

This standup will help to develop an Iraqi aviation enterprise capable of safeguarding the country from ISIS and its affiliates.

The CAATT, in partnership with the Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq, will enhance the aviation capabilities of the ISF and train, advise and assist the Iraqi Army Aviation Command, Iraqi Air Defense Command and the Iraqi Air Force.

"This Coalition team of airmen will build upon our Iraqi partner's combat-proven capabilities to ensure a capable, affordable, professional, and sustainable Iraqi Aviation Enterprise," said Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces Central Command commander. “Together with our Iraqi Security Forces partners, we will ensure the lasting defeat of ISIS in Iraq.”

The standup of this unit does not indicate an increase in the overall number of troops deployed to Iraq. The CAATT is comprised of U.S. and Coalition airmen from multiple specialties and is specifically designed to leverage existing resources and Coalition partner capabilities.

Following the country’s liberation from ISIS’ physical presence, the Coalition is transitioning to a more training-focused and building-partner-capacity role – decreasing overall Coalition air support as the Iraqi Air Force assumes air missions, duties and responsibilities necessary to ensure a lasting defeat of ISIS.