News: Iraqis take over military doctrine production
Story by Sgt. Joseph Vine
BAGHDAD – Thirty Iraqi Security Force members recently completed a doctrine development course, which brings the Iraqi military one step closer to self-sustainment.
An awards ceremony at Camp Phoenix recognized those service members’ achievements and the official end-of-mission for their U.S. advisers, Aug. 22.
“We formally recognized all the work that our Iraqi brothers and U.S. doctrine trainers have done during the doctrine development project,” said U.S. Army Col. Wes Osburn from Overton, Texas, and the senior adviser to the Iraqi deputy chief of staff of training.
“We helped them with, from a doctrinal base, how to maneuver and to fight with their new weapon systems,” he said. “They used their existing doctrine and pieces of U.S. doctrine to create a modern and updated doctrine.”
The Iraqi military currently has about 1400 doctrine manuals that are from the 1920s to the 1980s.
The manuals were from British and Soviet doctrine, said Osburn. They needed to be updated to current weapons systems and fighting levels.
“We’ve been working with the Iraqis to develop their own doctrine process and validate that by helping them write their first five manuals,” said Bruce Ahlbrand from Port Charlotte, Fla., and project manager for doctrine development.
“Those five manuals included a division and battalion operations level manual,” he said. “Most recently we just finished helping them create their company, platoon and squad level operations manuals.”
“The doctrine manuals that they have now give them a way ahead,” said Ahlbrand. “It ties in with their organizational structure which helps them determine what kind of structure they need.”
“The team has been focusing on operational and tactical level doctrines,” said Iraqi Army Brigadier Gen. Farkad, head of Iraqi doctrine branch.
Although this is the last scheduled group to go through the doctrine program, the Iraqi doctrine developers said they look forward to continuing the work they have been doing for the last 10 months.
“We emphasize the role and importance of their work,” said Farkad. “We have also conducted train-the-trainer courses in the past year. The first was with the assistance of Americans, the second was given by Iraqi personnel ran by my team, and we hope to have another course by October.”
“We aim to take whatever advantage we can from these officers who completed the course,” he said. “We appreciate the role of the American expertise, and we look forward to enhance this kind of operation with them. This is very important to us.”