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Published:May 16th, 2007 06:19 EST
Iraq: U.S. Transition Team On The Ground

Iraq: U.S. Transition Team On The Ground

By SOP newswire

BAGHDAD — New Iraqi Soldiers trained on essential skills at the “Lions Academy" Sunday and Monday.


Members of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division Military Transition Team conducted additional training on essential skills for Iraqi Soldiers who recently graduated from basic training.

“This is just to focus on those essential pieces they’re going to need when they go out," said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Morton Ellison, a MiTT member.

Unlike an established army, which can sustain itself while waiting for new Soldiers to undergo months of training, the Iraqi Army integrates most of its new Soldiers into a unit and combat operations immediately.

“All these Soldiers are right out of basic training, and we’re going to help them with clearing rooms, searching vehicles and people, and just try to give them the confidence to out there because they go straight from basic training out onto the battlefield," said U.S. Army Sgt. Athony Rubio, an MiTT trainer.

In the past, Iraqi Soldiers were sent straight to the battlefield and learned from experiences acquired from the mission.  However, lessons acquired on-the-job can be costly.

“This [Lions Academy] is just a way for us to come out and show them our experiences and teach them some tricks of the trade to get them on a higher level than they are right now," said Rubio.

According to Rubio, the Iraqi Soldiers showed up at the Lions Academy well-trained and proficient, which benefits both the trainers and trainees.

“They didn’t need too much work, and we can show them more advanced tips without having to deal with a lot of the basics," he said.

The new privates seemed very motivated and professional, said Ellison.

The additional training was very helpful according to one Iraqi private, who said he learned a lot and is excited about his new career as a Soldier.

As Iraqi security forces surpass standards of training and recruitment goals, Iraqi forces are expected to eventually grow independent of Coalition support giving the Iraqi democracy an opportunity to implement necessary utilities, establish the nation’s economy and secure Iraq.

(U.S. Army story by Sgt. Robert Yde, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)