• Iraqi troops watch a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter lift-off during their final exercise in the air assault training class on Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq, April 22, 2010. The Iraqi Commandos and Tactical Security Unit personnel trained in exiting and entering an aircraft in a combat situation, a necessity for quick operations.

    Iraqis end training with air assault exercise

    Iraqi troops watch a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter lift-off during their final exercise in the air assault training class on Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq, April 22, 2010. The Iraqi Commandos and Tactical Security Unit personnel trained in...

  • An Iraqi Tactical Support Unit soldier guards a hallway as Iraqi Commandos and TSU troops clear a building in a final training exercise for the air assault course on Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq, April 22, 2010. The training helps the Iraqi forces take security for the county into their hands as the drawdown of U.S. forces continues throughout Iraq.

    Iraqis end training with air assault exercise

    An Iraqi Tactical Support Unit soldier guards a hallway as Iraqi Commandos and TSU troops clear a building in a final training exercise for the air assault course on Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq, April 22, 2010. The training helps the Iraqi...

  • Commandos and Tactical Security Unit personnel line up as a UH-60 Black Hawk touches down to extract them from the training area during the air assault training on Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq, April 22, 2010. Though the training is conducted with U.S. helicopters, the tactics translate to the helicopters used by Iraqi forces.

    Iraqis end training with air assault exercise

    Commandos and Tactical Security Unit personnel line up as a UH-60 Black Hawk touches down to extract them from the training area during the air assault training on Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq, April 22, 2010. Though the training is conducted...

Culminating three weeks of training with U.S. Special Forces and the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, Iraqi Commandos and the 5th Iraqi Tactical Security Unit Battalion conducted a simulated air assault raid at Contingency Operating Base Adder April 22, 2010.

The raid, which was the final event of the training, tested the knowledge the students had gained during the course. Using the skills given to them by their trainers, the soldiers will return to their units able to provide training to other Iraqi forces.

The day started with a helicopter ride to the training area, where they dismounted the helicopter and headed into the compound. Once inside, they neutralized and captured targets, cleared rooms and returned fire against simulated enemies.

The Commandos and TSU then set up a perimeter while a civilian inspection team guarded the captured combatants. Once helicopters arrived, the Commandos boarded and the simulation ended as the helicopters left the combat area.

The commander of the U.S. Special Forces detachment that has worked with the Iraqi Commandos said that he has seen improvement with the class they have been training.

"The Iraqi Security Forces continue to get better, become more professional," the commander, who requested not to be named, said. "This is just another opportunity for them to get training and hit some of the topics where they've come to us and requested [assistance]."

Sgt. Mark Jones, the targeting noncommissioned officer in charge and fires support NCO for 12th CAB, said he was satisfied with the progress of the Iraqi Soldiers over the course of the three weeks.

"This is definitely the culmination," said Jones, who lives in Chicago. "This is definitely the final product, and we can definitely build off of this, refine what these guys are doing."

The goal of the training was not to cover everything the Iraqi troops will ever need to know, but to address specific problems, said the U.S. Special Forces commander said.

"There's certain areas they know they need a little more training on," he said. "That's what we attempted to do in this course: to hit those areas they requested for additional training."

The class, which started with 30 Iraqi students, finished with only 14 remaining, Jones said.

"A lot of people come here, they think they want to be a part of the TSU," Jones said. "They get here, get though a couple of days of training, realize this might not be the right route for them."

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