• BAGHDAD - Sgt. Gabriel Lopez (right), a concrete and asphalt team leader with 46th Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy), 225th Engineer Brigade, from Sacramento, Calif., shows an Iraqi engineer how to keep sand and gravel mixtures flowing correctly through the top of the concrete module. The equipment is an important tool that becomes a sort of a mobile concrete factory which can aid in repairing roads.

    BAGHDAD - Sgt. Gabriel Lopez (right), a...

    BAGHDAD - Sgt. Gabriel Lopez (right), a concrete and asphalt team leader with 46th Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy), 225th Engineer Brigade, from Sacramento, Calif., shows an Iraqi engineer how to keep sand and gravel mixtures flowing correctly...

  • BAGHDAD - Cameron, Mo., native, Spc. Brooks Bolinger (left), a concrete and asphalt specialist, 46th Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy), 225th Engineer Brigade, shows an Iraqi engineer how to pour concrete from the concrete module and spread it evenly during training, May 15, at Muthana Airfield. Once the initial training was completed, Iraqi Army engineers and "Steel Spike" Soldiers worked together to set twenty-four bases for solar light poles on the road outside the gate to the airfield.

    BAGHDAD - Cameron, Mo., native, Spc. Brooks...

    BAGHDAD - Cameron, Mo., native, Spc. Brooks Bolinger (left), a concrete and asphalt specialist, 46th Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy), 225th Engineer Brigade, shows an Iraqi engineer how to pour concrete from the concrete module and spread it evenly...

  • BAGHDAD - U.S. Army Soldiers from the 46th Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy), 225th Engineer Brigade, stand by while 6th Iraqi Army Engineers pour and level concrete, May 15. "The Iraqi Army Soldiers seemed eager to learn, despite the language barrier," stated Sgt. James Jones of Columbia, S.C., "By the end of the morning I felt confident that they had all mastered the basics.  They learned quickly."

    BAGHDAD - U.S. Army Soldiers from the 46th...

    BAGHDAD - U.S. Army Soldiers from the 46th Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy), 225th Engineer Brigade, stand by while 6th Iraqi Army Engineers pour and level concrete, May 15. "The Iraqi Army Soldiers seemed eager to learn, despite the language...

BAGHDAD-Limestone, clay, sand and gravel. These may not seem like riveting discussion topics to some. For Iraqi engineers at Muthana Airfield, in central Baghdad, the components of concrete are their keys to the future of their country.

Sgt. James Jones, a concrete squad leader, 46th Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy), 225th Engineer Brigade, and his squad spent the morning, May 15, training 6th Iraqi Army Engineers on how to conduct concrete missions and use the XM5 2600 concrete module, a mobile concrete factory. The training will give the IA engineers the necessary skills to conduct concrete construction missions and make road repairs.

"The Iraqi Army Soldiers seemed eager to learn, despite the language barrier," stated Sgt. Jones. "By the end of the morning I felt confident that they had all mastered the basics. They learned quickly."

The Iraqi Soldiers were quick to step up when the opportunity arose to get hands-on experience. They took turns operating the controls, getting on top of the concrete module to push the sand and gravel, and smoothing out the concrete in the holes.

"The Iraqis were really motivated to learn how we do things," stated Pvt. Ryan Doak, a concrete and asphalt specialist, 46th ECB (H), from Eugene, Ore. "After the first couple holes they were pretty much running the show."

Once the initial training was completed, the equipment platoon of Headquarters and Support Company, 46th ECB (H), worked alongside the Iraqi Army Engineers to set twenty-four bases for solar light poles on the road outside the gate to the airfield. They worked in the blazing heat, and managed to finish them all in one day.

After completing the training and solar light mission, the Iraqi Soldiers invited the U.S. engineers to lunch, to enjoy fellowship with their new comrades. The Iraqi engineers prepared a curry chicken and rice dish that was a new experience for many of the American Soldiers.

"It was nice to experience the local culture," stated Pvt. Doak. "I was impressed by their hospitality."

Page last updated Wed June 17th, 2009 at 13:32