01 April 2009

Iraqi Special Ops Forces, Iraqi Air Force Conduct First Joint Medevac Mission

A wounded Iraqi special operations forces soldier, left, leaves the medical treatment facility at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, for the medical center at the Iraqi special operations forces headquarters in Baghdad, March 20, 2009. The patient was flown to Balad in the first Iraqi special operations forces and Iraqi air force medical evacuation mission out of Baghdad. Courtesy photo.

This is a huge step towards full operational independence.

Iraqi Special Ops Forces, Air Force Conduct Joint Medevac Mission
By Army Spc. Jeffrey A. Ledesma

BAGHDAD, March 31, 2009 – Iraqi special operations forces and their air force partners teamed up recently to conduct their first joint medical evacuation from the Iraqi capital.

Flying a newly refurbished Mi-17 helicopter for the March 20 mission, the Iraqi air force pilots transported an Iraqi lieutenant from Baghdad to the Joint Base Balad medical center to undergo surgery.

"Iraqis coming together for this mission means we are going forward to achieve our independence," an Iraqi special operations forces officer assigned to the Iraqi medical center said.

The patient said it made him feel good knowing the respective Iraqi forces were working together, because sooner or later Iraq is going to have to run things on its own.

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