CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE MAREZ, Iraq (Army News Service, Jan. 6, 2011) - Soldiers assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division, began training Iraqi soldiers at Al Ghuzlani Warrior Training Center, Jan. 3.

Approximately 564 Iraqi Army soldiers assigned to the 3rd Iraqi Army Division, participated in the training as part of Al Tadreeb Al Shamil (Arabic for All Inclusive Training), conducting collective training at the newly-developed training site to help hone their ability to secure their country.

"We are training the 3rd Iraqi Army Division on basic soldiering skills and individual training to support collective tasks," said Command Sgt. Maj. Duane Detweiler, the senior enlisted officer in the unit.

"By the time we are done training, we will have more confident Iraqi soldiers and a more capable Iraqi Army," said the native of Pittsburgh, Pa. "They will have confidence in themselves, their leaders and their country."

Soldiers of 1st Sqdn., 9th Cav. Regt. began a four-week training program implementing squad, platoon, company and battalion-level training, with the intent to rotate 3rd IA Div. battalions every 30 days until the IA division is fully trained on conventional offensive and defensive maneuver operations.

The inaugural training cycle will culminate with a battalion-level live-fire exercise conducted by IA soldiers of the 1st Bn., 11th Bde., 3rd IA Div.

Staff Sgt. Clint Jacobs, a squad leader assigned to Troop A, 1st Sqdn., 9th Cav. Regt., worked with Iraqi soldiers refining basic team and squad-level movement drills.

Once the Iraqi soldiers performed the individual infantry drills effectively, Jacobs allowed Iraqi squad leaders to conduct the movement training.

"We are using the \'crawl, walk, run' method, and we are starting at the beginning," said the cavalry scout from Marietta, Ga.

Jacobs said his Soldiers are responsible for building the IA soldiers' capabilities, training IA leaders to build upon individual and collective core competencies at squad, platoon and company levels.

U.S. forces are working with leaders of 3rd IA Div. to build a lasting foundation for new Iraqi soldiers as they arrive to their units, explained Jacobs.

In the days before the first training cycle began at the new training site, troopers of 1st Sqdn., 9th Cav. Regt. set up the training lanes, running through rehearsals and making adjustments to ensure the training will be a success for the first Iraqi battalion to participate in the inaugural training program.

The "Long Knife" Soldiers of 4th AAB, 1st Cav. Div. are assisting the IA forces in leading classroom and hands-on training applications during the month-long training cycle, said 1st Lt. Sean Mitcham, platoon leader, Troop C, 1st Sqdn., 9th Cav. Regt.

"We're teaching them techniques used by American fighters," said "[Once the training is complete] they'll be able to mold it into their own system to make it work for them," said Mitcham.

(Spc. Angel Washington writes for 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division-North)

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