• AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq - An OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter fires rockets at a ground target during a live-fire exercise to teach Iraqi army scouts to call in fire from helicopters at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, May 21. Fire support teams from 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division (Advise and Assist), taught the three-day class. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod, 1/82 AAB, USD-C)

    During a live fire exercise

    AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq - An OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter fires rockets at a ground target during a live-fire exercise to teach Iraqi army scouts to call in fire from helicopters at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, May 21. Fire support teams from 1st Brigade...

  • AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq - Iraqi scouts with 27th Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division, climb from an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter that will be used during an air and ground integration exercise to train forward observers on how to call in fire from helicopters at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, May 20. The helicopters belong to Task Force Saber, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod, 1/82 AAB, USD-C)

    Helicopter being used

    AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq - Iraqi scouts with 27th Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division, climb from an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter that will be used during an air and ground integration exercise to train forward observers on how to call in fire from...

  • AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq - Capt. Brent Pafford, an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior pilot with Task Force Saber, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, is assisted by a fellow soldier as he shows Iraqi army scouts how to mount a .50-caliber machine gun on a Kiowa helicopter at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, May 20. The scouts were in day two of a three-day training event for forward observers. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod, 1/82 AAB, USD-C)

    Assisted by fellow Soldier

    AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq - Capt. Brent Pafford, an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior pilot with Task Force Saber, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, is assisted by a fellow soldier as he shows Iraqi army scouts how to mount a .50-caliber machine gun on a...

  • AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq - Iraqi scouts with 27th Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division, watch an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter fly overhead as they take part in a live-fire training exercise during which they are learning to call in fire from helicopters at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, May 21. The training was conducted by 1st Advise and Assist Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod, 1/82 AAB, USD-C)

    Kiowa Warrior

    AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq - Iraqi scouts with 27th Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division, watch an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter fly overhead as they take part in a live-fire training exercise during which they are learning to call in fire from helicopters...

  • AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq - Pfc. Robert Nichols, with 558th Military Police Company, 728th MP Battalion, 8th MP Brigade, marks a target for an approaching OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter during a partnered training exercise to teach forward  observer skills to Iraqi army scouts at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, May 21. Currently attached to 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division (Advise and Assist), the 558th is based in Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod, 1/82 AAB, USD-C)

    Target

    AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq - Pfc. Robert Nichols, with 558th Military Police Company, 728th MP Battalion, 8th MP Brigade, marks a target for an approaching OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter during a partnered training exercise to teach forward observer...

  • AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq - An OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter fires a rocket at a ground target during a live-fire exercise to teach Iraqi army scouts to call in fire from helicopters at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, May 21. Fire support teams from 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division (Advise and Assist), taught the three-day class. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod, 1/82 AAB, USD-C)

    Firing a rocket

    AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq - An OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter fires a rocket at a ground target during a live-fire exercise to teach Iraqi army scouts to call in fire from helicopters at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, May 21. Fire support teams from 1st...

  • AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq - Rockets fired from an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter explode in front of the setting sun on a firing range outside Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, May 21. Pilots from Task Force Saber, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, participated in a live-fire exercise during which Iraqi army scouts learned to call in close air support. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod, 1/82 AAB, USD-C)

    Explode in front of setting sun

    AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq - Rockets fired from an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter explode in front of the setting sun on a firing range outside Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, May 21. Pilots from Task Force Saber, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division...

  • AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq - Lt. Mohammad, a scout platoon leader with 27th Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division, stands with another Iraqi soldier as Cpl. Joshua Johnston and Pfc. Robert Nichols use a .50-caliber machine gun to mark a target during an exercise to train the Iraqis how to call in close air support from helicopters. The red tracers were from an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter machine gun fire with Task Force Saber, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod, 1/82 AAB, USD-C)

    Tracers

    AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq - Lt. Mohammad, a scout platoon leader with 27th Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division, stands with another Iraqi soldier as Cpl. Joshua Johnston and Pfc. Robert Nichols use a .50-caliber machine gun to mark a target during an...

  • AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq - A flare lights up the night for helicopters attacking ground targets with rockets on a firing range outside Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, as soldiers with the 27th Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division, watch from their gun truck, May 21. The soldiers took part in a three-day course to teach them fire support skills. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod, 1/82 AAB, USD-C)

    A flare lights up the night

    AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq - A flare lights up the night for helicopters attacking ground targets with rockets on a firing range outside Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, as soldiers with the 27th Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division, watch from their gun truck, May 21...

  • AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq - The noncommissioned officer in charge of a partnered forward observer training class, Staff Sgt. James Giovanna, with 3rd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division (Advise and Assist), teaches Iraqi army scouts from 27th Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division, how to use a map to call in helicopter fire on a target at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, May 19-21. Giovanni previously served 10 years with the Marine Corps and has deployed all over the world. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod, 1/82 AAB, USD-C)

    Training Class

    AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq - The noncommissioned officer in charge of a partnered forward observer training class, Staff Sgt. James Giovanna, with 3rd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division (Advise and...

AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq - American paratroopers taught Iraqi soldiers how to call in fire from armed helicopters to neutralize targets in a live-fire exercise here May 21.

Fire support specialists with 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division (Advise and Assist), trained scouts with the Iraqi Army on how to integrate air and ground forces by calling in rocket and machine-gun fire on ground targets from OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters operated by pilots of Task Force Saber, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division.

Integrating air and ground assets is a core competency for a standing army, according to Maj. Douglas Hayes, operations officer for 3rd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, the primary artillery component of 1/82 AAB.

"An army first and foremost needs to protect its borders against external threats," said Hayes. "This starts to build the foundation of a capability that they have not had, at least for a while - understand the procedures for marking their location and that of the target, and how to convey that to aircraft."

Twelve IA scouts and their platoon leader, 2nd Lt. Mohammad, all from 27th Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division, based in nearby Baghdadi, completed two days of classroom training prior to the live-fire exercise, said Staff Sgt. James Giovanni, noncommissioned officer in charge of the training.

The Kiowa helicopters fired rockets and .50 caliber machine guns in dozens of runs at a firing range target just outside Al Asad Air Base, in daylight and dark, said Giovanni.

Mohammad, who once served in intelligence in Saddam's army, said that, with American support, the Iraqi army was gaining competency at an accelerated rate.

"The army was very strong under Saddam, but Saddam was no good," said Mohammad. "It will take 20 years to build our army as strong as Saddam's without American support, but with the Americans, it is taking far less time."

Sgt. 1st Class Zachary Moon, targeting NCO for 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, one of 1/82 AAB's two infantry battalions, said that training a foreign army was actually good for his junior Soldiers.

"We have guys here from Bravo and Charlie Company fire support teams who are very experienced controlling aircraft, both in-theater and in training in the rear," said Moon. "It's a great opportunity for them to teach what they know."

Once an observer-controller at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., Moon said the training here closely followed Army doctrine.

"The training out here is really quite good," he said. "Incorporating Iraqis into the training actually makes the training better for our guys because it makes them have to teach and explain through the interpreters. They have to be very clear and concise.

"It really makes them step up and not make any mistakes in their instructions," he said.
The Iraqi scouts were engaged in the exercise and asked many questions, said Sgt. Max Lewis, a forward observer with 1-504th PIR.

"Today, we taught them how to properly conduct five-line [call for fire] procedures; the different types of markings for friendly and enemy positions for both day and nighttime," said Lewis, who was on his third deployment with the Army.

"This is the first time I've ever worked with a national army of the country I deployed to. It's been really good for me too," he said.

During the training, 27th IA Brigade commander, staff Brig. Gen. Adnon Aubaid Mushin Rashid, called Mohammad to check on his platoon's progress and to ensure the lieutenant had kept all the training documentation for future reference, said Mohammad.

"We are very proud to be here," said Cpl. Khalid Hamed al Abaydi, a four-year veteran with the brigade, from Hit.

"My goal is to fight the terrorists, even if I risk my life," said Khalid. "I want to live in peace. We want to feel like human beings, like people do in other countries."

The overall mission for 1/82 AAB, as nested with United States Division - Center, is to advise and assist the Iraqi army in all aspects of professionalization, said Hayes.

Air-ground integration is a capability that's needed for an army to continue to grow and to succeed, he said.

"That's why we're here," said Hayes; "to help them out with that."

Page last updated Sun May 30th, 2010 at 09:10