Iraqi NCOs attend master training course
July 8, 2009
CAMP SPARROW HAWK, Iraq (Army News Service, July 8, 2009) -- The noncommissioned officer corps is essential to an Army's success, and the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, has recently instituted a Master Trainer Course to help develop junior NCOs in the Iraqi army.
For five days, Soldiers from Company A, 4th Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, conducted the first Cordon and Search Master Trainer course. The course was held at Camp Sparrow Hawk, June 14-18.
The course attendees were members of the 38th Brigade, 10th Iraq Army Division. Five Iraqi soldiers were chosen from each battalion to attend the MTC.
Once students were familiar with using maps and terrain models, they moved into planning. The Iraqi leaders learned the steps to planning a successful cordon and search, and applying skills learned from the terrain model class.
"We constructed a terrain board and taught the Iraqi's how to relate what they see on the map to the terrain board and how to use the terrain board to plan missions," said Sgt. Tyson Sowers, an infantryman from Grandview, Wash.
By the end of the class, the Iraqis were planning their own cordon and search missions in accordance with standards. And pulling soldiers from all across the Iraqi brigade created a uniform standard, strengthening subordinate Iraqi units.
The ultimate aim of the training was leadership development. The young leaders can now take the lessons learned and begin training their own soldiers.
The Master Trainer Course developed junior Iraqi leaders and empowered them with the knowledge to effectively train their own Soldiers. The idea behind developing the junior Iraqi NCOs is to provide the Iraqi Army with tactically competent soldiers who will be able to effectively lead their comrades at the decisive point of an operation.
The course should help Iraqi NCOs develop their own tactics, techniques and procedures, officials said. They added that empowered Iraqi NCOs will eventually lead the Iraqi Army from training their force to successfully conducting full-spectrum operations without assistance from coalition forces.
While Iraqi soldiers were able to learn about cordon and search, the U.S. Army instructors learned about teaching and working with another army.
"Getting over the language barrier, even with an interpreter, was difficult," said Sgt. Joshua Bevan, an infantryman from Pinson, Ala. "But overall, it was a good opportunity for me, as an NCO, to practice teaching."
(Capt. Jeff Giltzow writes for 4th Brigade Combat Team , 1st Armored Division.)