U.S. ARMED FORCES, Iraq—The aircraft parked on the ramp at this military base in northern Iraq offer a symbolic counterpoint to the White House narrative that U.S. forces are on the sidelines of the ground war against the Islamic State.
U.S. Army medevac Blackhawk helicopters are based here, including the one that picked up mortally wounded Navy SEAL Charles Keating IV under heavy enemy fire during a May 3 battle north of Mosul.
Also lined up on the tarmac are Army Apache attack helicopters; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft; and a variety of armed special operations aircraft from different military branches.
“We’re in a war zone, and this place is dangerous,” an Army officer told The Daily Signal.