AL ASAD, Iraq - Advise-and-assist paratroopers partnered with Iraqi Army troops Feb. 3 to search for smugglers and caches in western Al Anbar province.
Infantrymen assigned to 2nd Platoon, Company C, 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division (Advise and Assist Brigade), worked side-by-side with 2nd Battalion, 28th Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division, based out of Camp Khalid, to conduct security reconnaissance near Watah, Iraq.
The paratroopers have been working hand-in-hand with the IA since November 2009, training them in proper reconnaissance techniques and maneuvers.
"The IA soldiers are eager to learn," said 1st Sgt. Scott Thomas, the highest ranking noncommissioned officer in Company C. "They have shown that the hours of instruction and joint training was not in vain but very valuable to the Iraqi soldiers and to the defense of the Iraqi nation."
The paratroopers have assisted the IA by teaching them how to properly conduct dismounted patrols as well as room and building clearing techniques and searching for hidden weapons, ammunition and explosives.
As the elections near, the reconnaissance missions have increased in western Al Anbar to provide the province with more security.
"Our Iraqi Army partners are demonstrating the willingness and tactical acumen necessary to secure themselves and the local populace," said Capt. Matthew Arabian, Company C commander.
According to Thomas, the paratroopers plan to continue their partnered reconnaissance missions with the IA for the duration of the 1-82 Airborne deployment.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16