Tunisian pilots are in Roswell, New Mexico, for training on the Kiowa Warrior helicopters the North African nation is due to soon take delivery of.
Six OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters were seen at Roswell International Air Centre by mid-September in full Tunisian markings. Training is being provided by Integration Innovation Inc (I3) under contract from the US Army.
Training equipment was delivered to Roswell from early August, with Tunisian pilots and maintenance technicians arriving later that month. According to the Roswell Daily Record, training will take place over six months, through to January next year, during which time 24 pilots and 50 technicians will be trained. The US Army Security Assistance Training Management Organisation has been responsible for management of the training programme.
“Because there is a shortage of US military training slots available to train foreign pilots and maintainers, our company was chosen to provide this training,” I3 President William Looney told the Roswell Daily Record.
Tunisia is due to receive 24 Kiowa Warriors from the United States, and 12 Black Hawk transport helicopters. In May this year the United States government approved the sale of 24 ex-US Army OH-58Ds, weapons and equipment to Tunisia in a deal worth $100 million.
A wide variety of equipment and weapons will be installed on the OH-58D helicopters that are classified as excess defence articles, including Common Missile Warning Systems (CMWS); AGM-114R Hellfire missiles; M124 miniguns; rocket launchers, and Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) rounds. This additional equipment is worth $44.3 million.
Integration Innovation Inc opened its training facility at Roswell in July this year.