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    Iraqi Army division begins to mechanize

    Iraqi army division begins to mechanize

    Photo By Staff Sgt. David Strayer | Iraqi army soldiers from 5th IA Division familiarize themselves with an M113 Armored...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. David Strayer 

    109th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    KIRKUSH MILITARY TRAINING BASE, Iraq – Iraqi army soldiers selected from four brigades of 5th IA Division conducted operator training on the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier vehicle with assistance from U.S. soldiers from 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 25th Infantry Division at Kirkush Military Training Base, Iraq, April 27.

    During the M113 training cycle, focused on training the IA on becoming master drivers and vehicle maintenance specialists, students learned basic operating procedures and vehicle maneuvering skills, as well as troubleshooting vehicle malfunctions.
    “The M113 course lasts ten days, so there is a good amount of information to fit into that time period,” said Maj. Rasheed Muwwakkil, a logistics advisor to the Iraqi security forces. “All of the IA attending the course are extremely motivated to learn and take an active part in the class, especially when it comes to the anything hands-on and getting a familiarity with the vehicle.”

    The M113 is one of the most widely used infantry vehicles in military history. Introduced in 1962, it was the primary armored vehicle used by American forces during the Vietnam War.

    M2 and M3 Bradley fighting vehicles replaced the M113 as a front-line combat vehicle in the U.S. Army, but the M113 is still used by U.S. Soldiers in support roles in many of its variations, such as mortar carriers and armored ambulances.

    While the 10-day M113 APC driver and maintenance course is aimed at successfully producing Iraqi army soldiers who can be called subject matter experts on operating and conducting user-level maintenance, that is not the course’s only purpose, said Muwwakkil.

    “This training course, like many of the training courses here at KMTB, has a purpose outside simple instruction,” said Muwwakkil. “This 10-day course is actually meant to be a train-the-trainer course. We want these guys to be able to take the training that we provide to them and be able to retrain soldiers in their own units later.”

    “This is the fourth M113 course we have done, and it seems this way across the board, but the IA soldiers that come through really are getting better and better with each passing rotation,” said Sgt. William Swift, an instructor for M113 driver and maintenance training with Company B, Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd AAB, 25th Inf. Div.

    “Since this is a train-the-trainer course, we have left all the logistics for the course to the IA, so they are troubleshooting all of their own problems and arranging for fuel, food, and parts if something were to happen to a vehicle,” said Swift. “They are essentially facilitating their own training.”

    Iraqi military leaders chose the 5th IA Division to become one of the first divisions to be mechanized. All of the training and advising with IA units at KMTB has been to prepare soldiers for the new mission they will take on once U.S. forces transition out of Iraq later this year, Muwwakkil explained.

    “This is all about getting them ready to take on the conventional mission set of a nation’s army—things like border defense and protecting the people,” he added. “That’s why this division has been selected to become modernized and mechanized.”

    “All of the training here at KMTB is slowly coming together; the end product will be a modernized, well-trained division that is prepared to defend its nation,” Muwwakkil said. “Things like the M113 APC training is just one step closer to that end goal.”



    Date Taken: 05.12.2011
    Date Posted: 06.08.2011 12:27
    Story ID: 71767

    Web Views: 283
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