Iraqi and American helicopter pilots have been operating together, mainly to give Iraqi UH-1 transport helicopters protection, and also to give pilots from both nations experience flying joint missions. American AH-64 helicopter gunships accompany the Iraqi UH-1s over areas where there is the possibility of hostile activity, particularly in Baghdad.
Iraq has bought several dozen American UH-1HP "Huey II" helicopters, for about $9.4 million each. This included training and large quantities of spare parts and technical support. The U.S. Army has stopped using the UH-1, but the U.S. Marine Corps still uses versions similar to the Huey II. With a new, more powerful, engine, new electronics and rebuilt frame, the refurbished UH-1s provide performance comparable to more recent helicopter designs. The HP model has operating costs that are 30 percent lower, and is easier to maintain, than earlier UH-1s. The UH-1HP is in use by several foreign countries. The five ton UH-1HP can lift about a ton more than earlier models and performs very well in hot and high environments, thus its popularity in Iraq.