Two Cessna Grand Caravan 208Bs, armed with a pair of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles each, have been photographed flying out of Meacham Airport earlier this month. The field officially has no military presence, but it is the home of a major ATK Integrated Systems major modification facility and the armed Cessna Caravan is one of its projects.
We think this is a pretty good idea. Iraq’s Air Force doesn’t need supersonic fighters and massive bombers. Right now they need the ability to watch people on the ground. We would use MQ-1 Predators and MQ-9 Reapers for this job. But that costs a lot of money that the Iraqis can probably better spend elsewhere. Here they have a cheap workable system that won’t take a whole lot of support from the US, and yet will give them experience to build on.
BTW, here’s the money quote from BillT’s post:
One of the kids nudged me when a DV started getting passionate in his address, and was interrupted by a standing ovation:
“He is saying that for the first time in our history, we are not doing things for one man, but we are doing it for all the people of Iraq. He is saying the US has showed us how, and we must not forget when we thank God every day, we must also ask him to bless the US.