23 November 2005

Iraq's New Navy and Air Force

Iraq has both a Navy and an Air Force, although they are both puny.

The Air Force, will 200 people in it, has "three C-130 transports, 14 small recon aircraft and 21 helicopters", but at least six recon aircraft and 11 helicopters are grounded for maintenance problems. Some of the helicopters that do operate, moreover, are used only for training.

The Navy (including the Marines) has 700 people in it with "five Predator class patrol boats, 24 aluminum speedboats (dual outboard engines) and ten rigid hull inflatable boats. Three al Faw Patrol Boats are to be delivered by the end of the year, and three more next year." These craft also have maintenance problems. While Iraq doesn't have much of a coast, the key point is that this is little more than a police department not capable of responding to any meaningful military threats.

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