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    Iraqi Navy celebrates, upgrades

    Iraqi Navy celebrates, upgrades

    Photo By Spc. Raymond Quintanilla | An Iraqi diving team puts on a show during the Iraqi Navy Day celebration at the Umm...... read more read more

    UMM QASR, Iraq – Iraqi Defense Minister Abdul Qader Obeidi attended the Iraqi Navy Day celebration, which included the commissioning of a small fleet of American-built boats added to the Iraqi Navy inventory at the port of Umm Qasr Sept. 26.

    Vice Adm. Kevin M. McCoy, commander of Naval Sea Systems Command, and Lt. Gen. Michael D. Barbero, deputy commanding general for advising and training with United States Forces-Iraq, were also present to see the four of 15 patrol boats scheduled to be transferred to the Iraqi Navy.

    The occasion signified the working relationship between U.S. forces and the Iraqi Navy, working toward the new mission under Operation New Dawn.

    “I am proud to be among the first to witness the historical arrival and commissioning of Iraq’s first patrol boat,” McCoy said. “This occasion reflects the important ties that bound our governments and our commitment to supporting a strong coalition partnership.”

    “Honor, courage and commitment,” McCoy said, “these are the very ideals that will validate our future relationship with Iraq and its people, most especially with Iraqi Naval forces.”

    Iraqi Navy Day was a chance for the new navy crew to demonstrate tactical skills learned from their partners while training in the U.S.

    “It’s an opportunity for them to show off their principal achievements,” said Commodore Tony Radakin, a native of Winchester, England, and the commander of Task Force Iraqi Maritime of the British Royal Navy.

    Radakin was part of the coalition effort to protect Iraqi territory waters in 2003 and said he has watched the Iraqi Navy grow since.

    “I am delighted to say I’m seeing that operational performance come together,” said Radakin. “The Iraqi Navy has taken responsibility for the northern terminal and everything that we are seeing so far shows that they’re on track to take responsibility.”

    Radakin said the Iraqi Navy is scheduled to take full responsibility for all its waterways sometime next year.

    The Iraqi Navy also received a small fleet of high-speed P-301 patrol boats and smaller watercraft as part of the build-up of the security forces that defend the coast of Iraq from external threats and protect oil terminals, which produces approximately 85% of the nation’s gross domestic product.

    As part of the ceremony, a company-sized group of newly commissioned officers attached their new officer ranks.

    Umm Qasr, which is located in the United States Division-South and 1st Infantry Division area of operations, is a major commercial port in southeastern Iraq where cargo ships dock. The port is vital to the Iraqi economy and serves as the home of the Iraqi Navy and its foreign training force.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 09.26.2010
    Date Posted: 10.02.2010 05:12
    Story ID: 57365
    Location: UMM QASR, IQ 

    Web Views: 130
    Downloads: 6
    Podcast Hits: 0

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