I spend a bit of time most days perusing through the online versions of the world's major mainstream media outlets and every so often, I cross paths with something that I find interesting. Today was no exception.
I'll open this posting by giving my readers a bit of background about the Royal Jordanian Air Academy. You'll see why later.
The Royal Jordanian Air Academy or RJAA was established in 1966 with its main campus in Amman, the capital city of Jordan with a satellite campus in Aqaba. The Academy is considered to be one of the leading aviation training centres in the Middle East and it trains both private and commercial pilots as well as maintenance technicians. RJAA is privately owned by the following individuals and companies:
RJAA's major shareholder and Chairman, Mohammed Abu Ghazaleh, originally from Palestine, now lives in San Francisco. Arabian Business magazine considers him to be one of the world's most influential Arabs. His net worth in 2011 was $2.4 billion and, rather surprisingly, he is the Chairman and CEO of Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc., purveyors of bananas and pineapples among many other things.
Now you ask, what does this have to do with anything?
Well, it seems that American taxpayers will be forking over hundreds of millions of dollars to one of Mr. Abu Ghazaleh's enterprises, the aforementioned Royal Jordanian Air Academy. According to a release posted here on the U.S. Department of Defense website, the U.S. Air Force has awarded RJAA a firm, fixed-price contract to provide Type 1 Special English language and technical aviation training for Iraqi Air Force technical personnel between now and August 8, 2013. The total amount of the contract - $370,779,589 for the year, which works out to $1.02 million per day. Note that this contract is not for pilot training, just for English language and technical learning.
Interesting, isn't it? The costs of war seem to never end, do they?