Dark Knight LTAT continues to train
June 25, 2011
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE BASRAH, Iraq -- While debate continues on the future of Iraq and the potential re-posturing of United States Forces-Iraq, Alpha Distribution Company, 215th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cav. Division, Logistical Training and Advisory Team, remains focused on their mission.
Led by 1st Lt. Jose Julia, a Cayey, Puerto Rico native and Staff Sgt. James Hardeman, an Oklahoma City native, the purpose of the LTAT is to help train and assist the Iraqi Security Forces become better equipped to deal with challenges in the Basrah Province.
After working with the Iraqi Army's 14th Provision Transportation Command for four months, the LTAT has transformed the training focus from U.S. lead training to an Iraqi "train the trainer" mindset to ensure Iraqi leaders can sustain this training without USF.
Training began with the basic lessons of preventive maintenance checks and services, to more advanced training on electrical systems for different types of civilian and military made vehicles. The focus has gradually shifted from training on the humvee to the civilian made international 5-ton trucks. This transition has allowed the PTC to become more self sufficient and combat effective.
"This is a very important step in the transition of the new and independent Iraqi Army. LTATs have been working with the IA for over seven years and it is time for them to take the reins on training and educating their Soldiers," said Hardeman. "Although the Iraqi Army leaders are grateful for all of the support in building the new Iraqi Army, it is time for them to lead and train their Soldiers. They are the future and must accept this great responsibility." he added.
In order to ensure that training is consistent throughout the 10th Iraqi Army Division, various LTAT's of different echelons have combined forces to conduct effective training.
Lt. Col. Bernie Spoerri, the stability transition team advisor to the 10th IA Division, works with the LTAT to maximize resources while providing the IA with high quality training and advice.
"Working with the division LTAT has allowed us to reduce the number of missions on the road while effectively maintaining communications and high trust levels with the Iraqi Army," said Julia. "By pooling together our resources, we can ensure that all levels of leadership are on the same page and are held accountable to ensure mission accomplishment."