With his immaculate flight suit and perfect American accent, Major “Face” Hama looks every inch the U.S. “Top Gun” pilot. But this is Iraq, not California.
Hama spent five years learning to fly U.S.-built F-16 fighter jets in Arizona, before returning home to take on ISIS.
The first batch of F-16s — Iraq has ordered 36 of the planes in all — arrived in Iraq last summer, and Hama flew the first Iraqi raids using them in September.
“I was excited and happy,” he remembers. “Because I was going to go kill an enemy who is not just an enemy of Iraq, it is an enemy of the entire world right now.”
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Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin