February 8th, 2007 03:04 EST
Joint training sharpens skills
FOB QWEST — Many Iraqi troops can expect to close with the enemy in an urban environment or other close-quarters situations. Realizing this, U.S. Soldiers have joined Iraqi troops to conduct joint training that also includes marksmanship and other war-fighting skills.
The 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, assisted the 1st Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Iraqi Army Division in the joint training effort starting Feb.1.
The two elements came together for a three-day BRM course and close-quarter battle drills training, said 1st Sgt. Jon Rettmann, top enlisted member of A Battery, 5-82 FA.
“The only thing my (noncommissioned officers) had to do was provide the IA leadership with the latest (tactics, techniques and procedures) that the Coalition Forces have seen work.”
“By us sharing our techniques that we’ve been developing, we can instill confidence in them so that when they go out, they will know how to react,” said Pvt. Kagan Richard, gunner, A Battery, 5-82 FA.
Rettmann explained it was his NCOs who built the training schedule to teach the IA battalion. “Two of my [noncommissioned officers] developed a training plan for the range and presented it to the 1st Iraqi Army Battalion sergeant major,” said Rettmann. “Once he said it looked good, we began the training. The first day of the range, we were very surprised at the level of knowledge the IA NCOs had. So after about the first hour, their sergeant major, his first sergeant, and his platoon sergeant, took the lead and ran the range.”
Rettmann said the Iraqi Army soldiers learned close-quarter battle room clearing, including single and multiple room clearance procedures, along with basic riflemanship. “Once we got to BRM, we concentrated on firing from the kneeling, standing and prone positions; then they fired live, reflexive-fire rounds.”
The senior NCO of the 1st Battalion, Command Sgt. Maj. Mohammed Jasim Hussen, said the training was a necessary step in the process of getting his troops ready for any situation. “We are trying to increase our soldiers’ abilities through training so that they will be able to conduct any type of mission. We want them to break down all the terrorists in our country, anywhere they are. The Iraqi soldiers have a very strong power to defeat terrorist activities in Iraq. This training will help build their confidence.”
During the three-day course, Sgt. Basheer Abdula, platoon sergeant, 1st Platoon, 2nd Iraqi Army Company, said his troops went through the course several times each, concentrating not only on targeting, but on weapons familiarization. “They each fired a series of nine times,” he said. “They learned good skills in targeting and weapon discipline.”
Abdula and Hussen were both grateful to the 5-82 FA Soldiers.
“I am thankful to all the Coalition Forces for supporting our troops and helping the great Iraqi Army through the training they are giving us,” Hussen said proudly. “With the high level of training we are getting from the Coalition Forces to keep our army in very good condition, under my name, under the name of all the Iraqi Army, and under the name of our 1st Battalion, God willing, we are going to finish all the terrorist activities.” By Sgt. Paula Taylor
4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs