The U.S. military does not need Iraqi permission to fly close air support and casualty evacuation missions for U.S. troops in combat, a top spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS clarified on Tuesday.
Army Col. James Rawlinson clarified that the Iraqis do not need to approve missions in emergency circumstances after Task & Purpose reported on Monday that the U.S. military needed permission to fly CAS missions for troops in a fight.
U.S. Army Cpt. Katrina Hopkins and Chief Warrant Officer 2 James Rogers, assigned to Task Force Warhorse, pilot a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) operation at Camp Taji, Iraq, Dec. 18, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Javion Siders)
U.S. forces must now ask the Iraqi military for permission to fly in Iraqi airspace for certain missions. However, the U.S. military does not need Iraqi approval to fly close air support and casualty evacuation missions for U.S. troops in combat, a top spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS said.
"In emergency circumstances, CJTF-OIR and the government of Iraq have a process to ensure there would be no delays in transporting injured service members to medical facilities or to provide force protection for any coalition troops,"said Army Col. James Rawlinson, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. "For more routine flights, the Government of Iraq has visibility over all CJTF-OIR aviation missions, and we comply strictly with restricted airspace."