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    First Iraqi Army unit graduates from GWTC

    First Iraqi army unit graduates from GWTC

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Shawn Miller | Deputy Chief of Staff for Training with Iraqi Ground Forces Command staff Lt. Gen....... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Shawn Miller 

    109th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    GHUZLANI WARRIOR TRAINING CENTER, Iraq – Iraqi Army soldiers of 1st Battalion, 11th Brigade, 3rd Iraqi Army Division, became the first alumni of the recently opened Ghuzlani Warrior Training Center, graduating from a four-week training program, Jan. 27.

    First Battalion soldiers trained on a wide range of tasks from individual and squad-level tactics to company-level battle drills as part of Tadreeb al Shamil, a new training initiative to modernize Iraqi forces’ warfighting capabilities for national defense operations.

    “In the Iraqi Army, we say, ‘The sweat of training will reduce blood on the battlefield,’” said Iraqi staff Lt. Gen. Hussain Jasim Dohi, deputy chief of staff for training, Iraqi Ground Forces Command. “We cannot increase the capability and readiness for any army without training.”

    The battalion will now have the opportunity to incorporate skills learned at GWTC into the Iraqi Army unit’s day-to-day operations, said Hussain.

    U.S. soldiers from 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, implemented and supervised the training regimen.

    U.S. advisors taught concepts to Iraqi unit leadership using a train-the-trainer approach, with the Iraqi officers then conducting their own training for soldiers within their battalion.

    During the four weeks of training, Iraqi soldiers conducted individual and collective training, progressing from small unit tactics to battalion-level military operations, as part of an ongoing effort to modernize warfighting capabilities of Iraqi Army divisions.

    “They did a lot better starting out than we anticipated,” said Maj. Jason Kniffen, operations officer, 1st Sqdn., 9th Cav. Regt., who led the final evaluation for the battalion. “They were able to take the skills we taught them during the first part of the training and carry that forward through the remainder of the training.”

    Kniffen said Iraqi trainers will replace soldiers of 4th AAB at the GWTC, as U.S. forces transition from teaching Iraqi Army units to serving in an advisory capacity during Tadreeb al Shamil.

    Having the ability to train an entire battalion in one setting permits the Iraqi Army staff officers to see the training exercise as a whole and guide senior officers on exercises beyond individual tasks, Kniffen explained.

    The 5th, 7th and 10th IA Divisions are also conducting similar training during 2011, as Iraqi Ground Forces Command continues to modernize its army, added Hussain.

    According to Hussain, the Iraqi Army is planning to rotate 48 battalions through Ghuzlani and similar training centers spread across the country by the end of the year.

    Hussain noted other commanders and unit leaders will benefit from 1st Battalion’s iteration at Ghuzlani, which will improve subsequent rotations for Iraqi units at the training center.

    “We are looking forward to rebuilding the Iraqi armed forces to a national, independent and professional Army,” he said.



    Date Taken: 01.27.2011
    Date Posted: 02.02.2011 06:39
    Story ID: 64642

    Web Views: 112
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