• Lt. Col. Charles Anderson, 304th Civil Affairs Brigade deputy operations officer, congratulates Iraqi Sgt. Maj. Muhammad Aneed, a newly certified civil affairs specialist with 2nd Battalion, 38th Iraqi Army Brigade, during the 10th IA Division civil affairs graduation ceremony at Camp Dhi Qar March 19. The five-day course was conducted by a mobile training team from 304th Civil Affairs Bde., stationed in Taji.

    Lt. Col. Charles Anderson, 304th Civil Affairs...

    Lt. Col. Charles Anderson, 304th Civil Affairs Brigade deputy operations officer, congratulates Iraqi Sgt. Maj. Muhammad Aneed, a newly certified civil affairs specialist with 2nd Battalion, 38th Iraqi Army Brigade, during the 10th IA Division civil...

  • The 10th Iraqi Army Division's 21 newest civil affairs specialists, along with Iraqi military leaders and 304th Civil Affairs Bde. leaders, participate in a civil affairs course graduation ceremony at Camp Dhi Qar officer dining facility March 19.

    The 10th Iraqi Army Division's 21 newest...

    The 10th Iraqi Army Division's 21 newest civil affairs specialists, along with Iraqi military leaders and 304th Civil Affairs Bde. leaders, participate in a civil affairs course graduation ceremony at Camp Dhi Qar officer dining facility March 19.

CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq - The Iraqi Army 10th Division graduated 21 students from its first civil affairs course at Camp Dhi Qar March 19.

The class is normally taught at Camp Taji, just north of Baghdad, but military leaders realized it would be easier to mobilize a group of instructors from the civil affairs academy than it would be to send the 21-man class north.

While the five-day class was short compared to other courses, the IA civil affairs specialists learned techniques on how to deliver important and fundamental needs to the country's citizens.

"We learned how to treat people and how to help those in need," said Iraqi Sgt. Maj. Muhammad Favel, a graduate of the course. "We will build the relationship between us and the civilian community."

However, these freshly-trained troops have a difficult path ahead of them, according to one of their instructors' senior leaders.

"We work with one of the hardest parts of war," said Lt. Col. Kelly Thrasher, 304th Civil Affairs Brigade deputy of civilian-information management. "We work with people. If we don't win the hearts and minds of the people, the people will follow someone else."

Getting Iraq's citizenry involved in securing their own homeland has been the 4th Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division's focus since they assumed responsibility of the southern Iraqi tri-province region last June.

"Civil-military operations help secure the victory," said Lt. Col. Charles Anderson, 304th Civil Affairs Bde. deputy operations officer.

His unit's instructors reinforced the concept that through caring for the local community and grassroots efforts, Iraqi citizens will reciprocate by getting involved with restoring their country.

"Now I can share my knowledge with my (fellow soldiers)," said Iraqi Sgt. Maj. Muhammad Aneed, one of the graduates. "We will build a good relationship between the Iraqi Army and the citizens. We've helped people in the Maysan province with the Americans' assistance."

The graduates are set to return to their units to share their recently acquired knowledge with fellow soldiers.

Page last updated Fri March 27th, 2009 at 14:09