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    8th Iraqi Army Division Receives Route Clearance Equipment

    8th Iraqi Army Division Receives Route Clearance Equipment

    Courtesy Photo | Lt. Col. Aqeel, commander of the 8th Engineer Regiment, sits in the driver's seat of...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    555th Engineer Brigade

    By Capt. David J. Lenzi
    555th Engineering Brigade

    FORWARD OPERATING BASE ECHO, Iraq - The Iraqi army has taken several steps forward in the counter-insurgency fight with the fielding of route clearance specific equipment.

    The Iraqi light armored vehicle, the Badger, is the first vehicle procured for the IA with the improvised explosive device threat foremost in its design. It blends the lessons learned of several years of field experience into a chassis and vehicle system that should provide excellent utility and outstanding survivability. The inclusion of a Ferret Arm makes the vehicle a tremendous boon for IA engineers and explosive ordnance disposal units engaged in the counter-IED fight. The first examples of these vehicles are destined for these types of units.

    The 8th IA Division received its first two Iraqi light armored vehicles — commonly known as Badgers—on Aug. 13, 2008 and is eagerly awaiting the two additional vehicles allotted to it.

    Lt. Col. Aqeel, the 8th Engineer Regiment commander remarked, "This vehicle represents a substantial improvement in the protection and capabilities available to the Iraqi army."

    The as-yet incomplete fielding has neither damped their enthusiasm for their new vehicles, nor prevented them from initiating a vigorous training plan.

    The 8th Engineer Regiment, Field participated in a small class at Taji aimed at operator training and maintenance of the new equipment. Their classroom knowledge, combined with electronic manuals provided by their U.S. partnership unit, the 54th Engineer Battalion, is the seed from which they are growing their Train-the-Trainer program and institutional knowledge of the Badger and its capabilities. Throughout the past several weeks, the engineers have engaged in driver's training, conducted maintenance and started down the long road towards proficiency with the Ferret Arm. This industrious approach has led to techniques, tactics, and procedures development and allowed them to incorporate the new equipment into their missions.

    "This vehicle is unique. Training and new TTPs will be the key to using it effectively and we look forward to developing those TTPs in conjunction with TF Dagger," stated Lt. Col. Shafeeq, company commander in the 8th Engineer Regiment.

    The Badger's potential in the hands of the IA engineers has attracted the attention of not only the 8th IA Div. headquarters, but also of Iraqi ground forces command. On Sept. 1, 2008, the IGFC assistant chief of staff, with a camera crew and a bevy of officers in tow, attended a demonstration of the Badger's capabilities put on and jointly attended by the 8th IA Div. Aqeel displayed the poise and eloquence expected of a veteran of over 20 years with his Soldiers on display and his reputation foremost in the minds of those gathered. Both of his company commanders, Shafeeq and Maj. Jaudit, and a host of junior officers, were instrumental in the orchestration and present during the execution of the demonstration.

    The 8th IA Div. is satisfied the demonstration was a success and feels that they are helping to not only make the fielding of the equipment a priority, but to refine its use and push the boundaries of its capabilities.



    Date Taken: 10.20.2008
    Date Posted: 10.20.2008 00:50
    Story ID: 25230
    Location: DIWANIYAH, IQ 

    Web Views: 922
    Downloads: 658