News: Iraqi Army leaders get live update from Texas
Story by Spc. Allison Churchill
FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELTA, Iraq — While Brig. Gen. Abed Gabr Mazloum, commander of 32nd Iraqi Army Brigade, visited America with 41st Fires Brigade commander Col. Richard Francey, his unit kept busy in Iraq.
Each side had the chance to share their experiences during a video teleconference recently, linking the 41st Fires Bde.'s headquarters on Forward Operating Base Delta and Fort Hood, Texas.
In the week their commander was gone, 32nd IA Bde., was named best in its division during an inspection by the Ministry of Defense and helped Iraqi police find rockets that were intended for use against FOB Delta.
Mazloum had several stories to tell as well. Fort Hood sounds like the Arabic word for lawlessness. When Mazloum told his troops that the large post in Texas was like heaven, a wave of laughter erupted until he made his point more clearly.
He also told his troops about the differences in climate as the group made their way from Washington, D.C. to Texas and marveled at the size of the Lone Star State.
"It's so big! Bigger than Iraq!" exclaimed Mazloum.
The VTC was Francey's idea, said Maj. Anthony Fields, 41st Fires Bde.'s signal and communications officer in charge and resident of Montclair, Va. Francey called from Fort Hood, April 7, and asked for the VTC to be set-up.
The Iraqis appreciated the opportunity.
"It was good to be able to use technology to keep in touch," said Lt. Col. Ali Kaleel of the 32nd IA Bde.