Adapt or Fail
The USAF’s Role in Reconstituting the Iraqi Air Force, 2004–2007
The US Air Force has not had much experience in helping to create an air force for a partner nation. Usually the partner nation would already have an air force and the requisite infrastructure, only needing better airplanes, more training, or additional spare parts for the equipment already on hand. In Iraq, however, the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) officially disbanded the country’s air force and the other branches of its armed forces. During the transitional period pending the formal return of sovereignty to the Iraqi people, the CPA re-created the national institutions deemed essential, including a defense force. A handful of USAF advisors deployed to help the Iraqis reconstitute their air force in January 2004. This book summarizes the essentials of that complex sequence of events. This is a story about the ingenuity, flexibility, and perseverance of the USAF Airman-advisors who deployed to Iraq and the Iraqi patriots they trained, mentored, and befriended.
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