As the drawdown of U.S. forces continues, the training of Iraqi Security Forces counterparts to assume the primary security responsibility remains paramount to both sides, and U.S. Soldiers throughout Iraq are training Iraqi troops to provide stability and secure the country.

So it goes on Contingency Operating Base Adder, where a group of Iraqi Commandos and members of the Iraqi Tactical Support Unit received training during April from the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade on mounting and dismounting a helicopter, providing security after landing and moving as a section after the helicopter departs.

The training, which was conducted with the help of two Special Forces Soldiers, was another step in the continuing change of responsibility between the two nations. According to one of the Special Forces Soldiers, the process was like working himself out of a job.

"If I work myself out of a job here," said the Solider, who asked not to be identified. "It means I can go do other stuff. That's the intent."

The Iraqi TSU and Commandos will return to their units and train fellow troops on the tactics they learn from the U.S. forces, increasing the capabilities of the Iraqi Security Forces.

The training was supervised by the 12th CAB's plans section. Capt. Igan O'Reilly, a coordinator for the section, said that the training gave a new tool to the Iraqis to help them act quickly against hostile targets and prevent enemy escape.

"With these newly developed techniques, [we're] pushing them towards self-sufficiency and, in the future, helping them collaborate with other organizations in Iraq," said O'Reilly. "So that when we do draw down our forces later on, they will have that level of competence in their training and the ability to conduct their own missions."

The missions are currently in the "walk" phase of the training, which means walking the Iraqis through the training before they begin to use it on their own, said O'Reilly, a Gloucester, Va. native. The "run" phase will include a practical training exercise where the ISF troops will enact what they've learned already.

Sgt. Hraade, who didn't give his first name, a member of the Iraqi TSU and a police trainer, said that the training is helping them to be more professional and perform operations without making mistakes. He also said that the trainers and training were up to a high standard for the Iraqi Soldiers.

"It's not difficult, there's nothing difficult," Hraade said of the training. "The only difficulty we're facing is with supplies."

The one thing Hraade asked from his Soldiers was the patience to continue the training.

"I would like them to be patient with us, because we've asked them to do a lot of stuff," said Hraade. "The thing is, it's a short training course, only four weeks, so there's a lot of information we need to give them and it's not easy for them. We appreciate them."

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