Warrior Academy gives IA options
October 27, 2009
BAGHDAD - The training and advisory role that the U.S. military has undertaken with Iraqi Security Forces is paying off on the streets of Baghdad.
Classroom instruction and hands on, realistic training scenarios re-enforce the battle tested techniques once joint patrols leave the confines of joint security stations. For American instructors, these foot patrol act as a culminating exercise.
"Patrolling side-by-side with the [Iraqi Army] helps show them the way we do things," said Moore, Okla. Native, Cpl. Christopher Cannon, basic rifle marksmanship instructor. "We aren't forcing the way we do things on them, but it helps show them that there are other options to consider."
Warrior Academy students from JSS Ur, conducted a foot patrol, Oct. 20, after receiving classes from the Soldiers from Company A, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
"This class is really good for our Soldiers," said Capt. Moammer, the executive officer for the 2nd Battalion 44th Brigade Iraqi Army Division. "They are training and gaining experience from the U.S. Soldiers. The U.S. Soldiers know what they are doing, they have done this before, and my Soldiers respect that."
The Warrior Academy is a three day course which teaches basic rifle marksmanship,
weapon handling and safety, basic tactical movements, first aid, and combat patrolling. Combat patrols are built into the curriculum to give the Iraqi Soldiers a chance to use the skills they have learned.
"The Warrior Academy is designed to help the Soldiers from the 2-44th IA Division with basic soldiering skills, that way they can teach them to their Soldiers," said San Antonio native,
Staff Sgt. Marzo Rosas. He hopes that training events like these will make the Iraqi Security Forces more efficient and less dependent on the Americans.
"I feel the patrol is one of the most important parts of the training," said Moammer. "We use the patrol movements, searching techniques and everything else we have learned up to this point. We can see what we need to work on and improve ourselves."
Throughout the patrol the IA stopped several vehicles and searched them. The patrol is organized so that individuals and teams have separate tasks like searching vehicles or passengers.
"We wanted them to feel in control of the patrol, this was their patrol," said Saipan native, Staff Sgt. Benito Santos.
As the IA led the way through the gates, they maneuvered around multiple obstacles; large mud puddles, rocks, traffic and children.
"They respected the civilians," said Santos. "This will help them build better relations with them, and earn trust from most of them."
After the patrol was over and they had returned to JSS Ur, the instructors sat the IA Soldiers in the classroom and started discussing what happened during the patrol.
They split the class into two groups and each team was required to determine three negative and positive actions performed during the patrol.
"Discussing what you did during your patrol helps you for the next time you are out there," Santos told the students. "It will better stick in your mind."
"We want the IA to become more stable," explains Rosas, "We don't want to tell them how to fight, we just want to provide them with more options."
There are different parts of patrolling that are already ingrained into the Iraqi Soldiers minds, such as the hand signals they use for giving directions.
"This course is helping the IA Soldiers advance in being Soldiers," said Moammer. "And this is helping to build a good relationship between the U.S. Soldiers and the IA Soldiers."