Baghdad - Lt. Col. Bernard Williford, of Burgaw, N.C., shakes the hand of a graduate from the staff development course, June 15. Williford, commander of 230th Brigade Support Battalion, 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, is part of the group of Soldiers who help the 17th Division Iraqi Army, Motorized Transportation Regiment, train at Forward Operating Base Falcon, south of Baghdad.

BAGHDAD - Soldiers of the 17th Division Iraqi Army, Motorized Transportation Regiment, recently finished its first staff development course at Forward Operating Base Falcon, south of Baghdad.

A military transition team, assigned to the 230th Brigade Support Battalion, 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, worked with the Iraqi Army to help establish this training program and participated in the graduation ceremony, June 15.

Students who were part of the staff course learned about operation orders, officer and non-commissioned officer responsibilities, and other professional skills.

"This course is very similar to the one that Army officers go through during their staff development training," said transition team member, Master Sgt. Leslie McCampbell, of Victorville, N.C.

Team members planned and taught the staff development course and separate medical, maintenance and transportation courses.

Maj. Stephen Turner, the transition team chief, said he could see how the training has helped the Iraqi forces.

"It is very noticeable that the motorized transportation regiment has come a long way with what they are now able to do," said Turner, of St. Louis.

The chief instructor for the 12-week staff course was Iraqi 2nd Lt. Yaarub.

"The students were very excited about the training they received, and they learned a new style of doing things," said Yaarab. "They made new friends with the coalition soldiers. I think we have a good partnership."

Capt. Anthony Cisneroz, the training team officer in charge of transportation, agreed.

"I think the partnership that we are building between the Iraqi and coalition forces will continue to provide the Iraqis with sustainability and security for the new Iraq government," said the San Antonio native.

The current training team will be departing Iraq soon, but Soldiers from the North Carolina National Guard battalion will continue the programs. About a dozen 230th Soldiers have been trained to teach new courses.

Page last updated Tue June 30th, 2009 at 13:57