This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
ROTORCRAFT IN SERVICE


A Phoenix Rises From The Ashes In IRAQ


BY LT COL JOHN J LOUGHLIN II, USAR (RET) AND CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER DANIEL HILL, NEBRASKA ARMY NATIONAL GUARD PHOTOS: DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE


During Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi


Freedom, coalition forces decimated the Iraqi Air Forces’ rotary wing fleet consisting of more than 600 helicopters with overwhelming ‘shock and awe.’ “In the wake of the wars, the (Iraqi) capa-


bility to launch and field helicopters was reduced to ashes,” said U.S. Army Col. Thomas J. Trossen, the former Chief of Army Aviation Division for U.S. Forces – Iraqi, Advising and Training Mission from July 2010 to July 2011. “It seems only fit- ting that the headquarters of the emerging Iraqi Army aviation force should be located at a place called Pheonix Base in the International Zone,” Trossen added. The aptly made reference is to the Greek


mythological bird, the Phoenix, which rose from its own ashes to fly again.


ROTORCRAFTPROFESSIONAL Phoenix base was turned over to the Iraqi


government in 2010. Trossen’s Army Aviation advising team, which has grown from four to 19 soldiers and airmen, is now directed by U.S. Army Col. Mark W. Weiss is now Chief of the Army Aviation Division. Col. Weiss is no stranger to rotary wing forces. Weiss, the former Deputy Assistant


Commandant of the Army Aviation Center, was deployed for a year-long tour in Iraq. He has flown the UH-1H, OH-58 and UH-60 heli- copters during his time with the Arizona National Guard. Today, he leads a team which includes Air Force logisticians, personnel special- ists and a wide variety of Army aviators from his offices in the former Baath Party Headquarters at Forward Operating Base Union III, Baghdad. “It


12


really is a team effort and more importantly a multi-service effort,” said Weiss. “We fall under the Iraq Training and Advising Mission- Air Force, 321st Air Expeditionary Wing, command- ed by Air Force Maj. Gen. Anthony Rock,” he explained.


The challenges are many, said Weiss, but the


rewards are great working on a daily basis to influ- ence the Iraqi military and professionalize the service. “Army aviation is unique in Iraq, although


they began as a part of the Iraqi Air Force, they have formed a separate service apart from both the Air Force and the Army,” he said. The mission is to build inter-military rela-


tionships that will lead to a higher level of capa- bility in Iraq, said Weiss. “Our mission is really building


partner


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52