The first batch of U.S.-provided F-16s has arrived in Iraq, following a string of delays over security and other concerns.
The big question overhanging the shipment, though, is whether the Iraqis can fly them.
The Obama administration said Monday that the first group of Iraqi pilots has been trained.
"After years of preparation & training in the U.S., Iraqi pilots today landed the 1st squadron of Iraqi F16s in #Iraq," tweeted Brett McGurk, deputy special presidential envoy for the global coalition to counter ISIL.
The fighter jets were delivered as part of a foreign military sales contract between the U.S. and Iraq. The delivery comes as, separately, local forces undertake an operation to recapture Fallujah and Ramadi from the Islamic State.
The Iraqis purchased 18 F-16s in 2011 for $3 billion, and another 18 for $830 million two years later, for a total of 36 aircraft.
There have been numerous delays in getting the F-16s to Iraq, mostly because of the deteriorating security situation there, a Pentagon spokesman said earlier this year.
The U.S. Air Force has been training dozens of Iraqi pilots in the U.S. during that period.
How prepared they will be remains to be seen, and defense aviation experts voiced concerns earlier this year.
Pierre Sprey, a defense analyst who helped to design the concept that led to the original F-16 in the 1970's, told FoxNews.com, "It takes an entire culture to make a fighter pilot. Here we go starting these guys off on F-16s, and there is not a chance that in the next 20 years they will be able to fly them effectively."
Fox News' Lucas Tomlinson, FoxNews.com's Kelley Vlahos, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.