Looks like we also have some pilots over there. Apache Pilots. We will keep the Embassy open and keep a clear path to Baghdad Airport. Kirby Admits the Iraqis are bolstering Defenses around Baghdad.
U.S. troops in Baghdad to fly Apache helicopters, drones....
The nearly 500 American troops sent to Baghdad to bolster security for the US embassy are equipped with Apache attack helicopters and small unarmed surveillance drones, Pentagon officials said Tuesday. The reinforcements will include troops to fly and maintain Apache attack helicopters and unarmed surveillance drones, Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby told a news conference.
The drones were not Reapers or Predators but smaller Shadow robotic aircraft that are launched from a catapult, a senior defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP. The Shadow aircraft, which have been heavily used by US forces previously in Iraq and in Afghanistan, are about 14 feet (4 meters) long and can fly at an altitude of 8,000 feet (2,400 meters).
The US security contingent will concentrate on safeguarding access to the Baghdad airport as well as the embassy, the official said. Kirby told reporters that the additional troops would "help provide extra security for our facilities, our people, our property, and to also allow -- to help allow the State Department and the embassy to continue to function as it is." The embassy remains "open," he added.
He would not say whether the US move was based on an assessment that Baghdad was under a heightened threat.....snip~
U.S. troops in Baghdad to fly Apache helicopters, drones