COS MAREZ, Iraq - Mortar crew members assigned to 1st Battalion, 10th Brigade, 3rd Iraqi Army Division, work to find the proper elevation and deflection on a 120mm mortar system during training at Ghuzlani Warrior Training Center, Iraq, June 13, 2011.

CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE MAREZ, Iraq -- For the past six months, Soldiers assigned to 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, worked with battalions from 3rd Iraqi Army Division, to improve the units' modern warfare tactics.

In the continuing efforts of Tadreeb al Shamil, Arabic for All Inclusive Training, 4th AAB Soldiers conducted tactics classes as part of the sixth rotation with trainees of 3rd IA Div., at Ghuzlani Warrior Training Center, June 13.

During Tadreeb al Shamil, an Iraqi military initiative to modernize infantry skills, Iraqi soldiers train with U.S. mentors during four-week courses at GWTC in support of U.S. Division " North's advise, train and assist mission during Operation New Dawn.

Iraqi soldiers learn ambush, defense, attack and urban tactics at squad, platoon and company levels before taking part in a culminating battalion live fire exercise at the end of the training iteration.

U.S. Soldiers also provide job-specific training to include mortar crew drills, maintenance, medical and intelligence training.

"We were given the opportunity to build a training facility for a battalion and go through a series of different training events very much like what we go through in our Army," said Lt. Col. John Cushing, commander of 1st Sqdn., 9th Cav. Regt., 4th AAB.

Along with their soldiers, IA officers also train to help their units become sustainable forces for future operations.

"We felt that it was very important to not only train the junior soldiers on individual tasks that they need to be proficient on, but to also train the leaders to make sure they understood what was expected of them as we progress (throughout the training)," added Cushing, a native of Rochester, Mich.

Iraqi soldiers also use the Tadreeb al Shamil classes to prepare for Operation Iron Lion, an upcoming series of exercises demonstrating interagency cooperation between elements of Iraqi Security Forces.

The operation, which includes 3rd IA Div. soldiers, Iraqi Police and 3rd Federal Police, is designed to show Iraqi citizens and leaders that Iraqi Security Forces are able to independently protect the country.

"Training is one of the main responsibilities for the Army," said staff Col. Salim Twwad, commander, 1st Bn., 10th Bde., 3rd IA Div. "We are here to protect our country from any external attacks. We have gained a lot of knowledge from training here, and we will be able to use it (for future operations)."

U.S. Soldiers conduct daily training with their Iraqi counterparts, demonstrating what the troops can do collectively and individually to improve soldiering skills, as well as to develop tactics to sustain these skills.

Page last updated Mon June 20th, 2011 at 00:00