• KIRKUSH MILITARY TRAINING BASE, Iraq " Iraqi Army soldiers fire at targets during M-16 rifle qualifications at the Kirkush Military Training Base in Diyala province, Iraq, Jan. 5, 2011. The Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, serve as advisors for Iraqi Army battalions cycling through the KMTB.

    Firing down the line

    KIRKUSH MILITARY TRAINING BASE, Iraq " Iraqi Army soldiers fire at targets during M-16 rifle qualifications at the Kirkush Military Training Base in Diyala province, Iraq, Jan. 5, 2011. The Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Advise...

  • Kirkush Military Training Base; KMTB; Tadreeb al Shamil; 5th Iraqi Army Division; Company A; 1st Battalion 27th Infantry Regiment; Wolfhounds; 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade; 25th Infantry Division; Operating New Dawn; U.S. Division-North

    Iraqi jundi sprints to cover

    Kirkush Military Training Base; KMTB; Tadreeb al Shamil; 5th Iraqi Army Division; Company A; 1st Battalion 27th Infantry Regiment; Wolfhounds; 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade; 25th Infantry Division; Operating New Dawn; U.S. Division-North

  • KIRKUSH MILITARY TRAINING BASE, Iraq " After crossing elevated balance beams, Iraqi soldiers assigned to 4th Battalion, 21st Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Division scramble across monkey bars to finish an obstacle course at Kirkush Military Training Base, Iraq, March 12, 2011. U.S. Soldiers of Company A, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, taught the obstacle course, providing an opportunity for the Iraqi Army soldiers to conduct physical fitness during the 25-day Tadreeb al Shamil, Arabic for All-Inclusive Training, training program at KMTB. Tadreeb al Shamil is an Iraqi military initiative aimed at bolstering the IA's national defense capabilities prior to the end of Operation New Dawn.

    Monkey bars

    KIRKUSH MILITARY TRAINING BASE, Iraq " After crossing elevated balance beams, Iraqi soldiers assigned to 4th Battalion, 21st Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Division scramble across monkey bars to finish an obstacle course at Kirkush Military Training Base...

  • KIRKUSH MILITARY TRAINING BASE, Iraq " U.S. Army Staff Sgt. William Lucus, Company A, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, supervises an obstacle course race at Kirkush Military Training Base, Iraq, March 12, 2011. The Iraqi soldiers learned good physical fitness techniques while getting a change of pace from day-to-day classes at KMTB, said Lucus, a resident of Ewa Beach, Hawaii. The Iraqi soldiers from 4th Brigade, 21st Brigade, 5th IA Division, raced against their U.S. counterparts during the event. Part of the 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, the Company A Soldiers lead battalions of the IA through 25-day training rotations at KMTB as part of Tadreeb al Shamil, an Iraqi military initiative aimed at modernizing national defense capabilities.

    Obstacle course

    KIRKUSH MILITARY TRAINING BASE, Iraq " U.S. Army Staff Sgt. William Lucus, Company A, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, supervises an obstacle course race at Kirkush Military Training Base, Iraq, March 12, 2011. The Iraqi soldiers learned good...

  • KIRKUSH MILITARY TRAINING BASE, Iraq " Sgt. Stephen Miller, an infantryman attached to Company A, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, provides guidance to 5th Iraqi Army Division instructors prior to the start of a live fire exercise at Kirkush Military Training Base, Iraq, March 9, 2011. Following feedback provided by U.S. advisors, the Iraqi instructors took the lead role in teaching the exercise to the IA units while U.S. Soldiers observed. The 1st Bn., 21st Inf. Regt., "Gimlets," part of the 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, plan to transition full control of the 25-day training cycles, known as Tadreeb al Shamil, Arabic for All Inclusive Training. Tadreeb al Shamil is an Iraqi military initiative for IA units to develop the ability to train and lead individual and collective training necessary to sustain a modern army.

    Sgt. Miller provides feedback to Iraqi instructors

    KIRKUSH MILITARY TRAINING BASE, Iraq " Sgt. Stephen Miller, an infantryman attached to Company A, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, provides guidance to 5th Iraqi Army Division instructors prior to the start of a live fire exercise at Kirkush...

  • KIRKUSH MILITARY TRAINING BASE, Iraq " Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division " North, load equipment to assist in the transition of Kirkush Military Training Base, Iraq, Aug. 11.

    Soldiers load equipment

    KIRKUSH MILITARY TRAINING BASE, Iraq " Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division " North, load equipment to assist in the transition of Kirkush Military Training Base, Iraq, Aug...

CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE WARHORSE, Iraq " A training base, full of history between the Iraqi army and U.S. forces, transitioned Aug. 21.
Soldiers of Company A, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division " North, officially transitioned Kirkush Military Training Base, Iraq, back to the Iraqi army.
For weeks, Soldiers of Company A worked tirelessly to clean the area and conduct sensitive item sweeps to ensure the IA received the base in serviceable condition, said Capt. Jesse Harden, commander of Company A.
"We turned (the base) over with the same standards as we would expect to have received it," said Harden a Killeen, Texas native.
The transition comes after years of training that took place on the small compound, said Harden whose company conducted Tadreeb al Shamil, or all-inclusive training.
Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, "Gimlets," 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, were first to step back and let Iraqis lead the training at KMTB. They led training and advising the year prior to 1st Bn., 8th Cav. Regt., taking command of the base.
"We realized we were giving these guys training, but they really had nothing to sustain it after they received the training," said Sgt. Christopher Mola, an infantryman, who was attached to Company A, 1st Bn., 21st Inf. Regt., in March 2011.
"After we leave, they'll have the instructors here to continue the training, whether it's here at KMTB or at their own individual units, to ensure that the soldiers retain the knowledge they gained by coming here," said Mola months ago.
Recently, Soldiers of Company A instructed Iraqi soldiers on a variety of military tactics and standards during each 25-day training cycle, including individual weapons qualification, platoon live-fire and company training events.
KMTB is full of training history and provided a starting point for Iraqi soldiers to become self-reliant.
"This is where it all began," said an Iraqi training officer, describing the training grounds at KMTB. "This is where one of the first soldiers was trained to pick up a rifle and begin the steps to protect their country. This is also where we teach them to protect themselves, and protect the people of Iraq."
The growth of the Iraqi forces and their training continued to expand with each passing month at KMTB.
"It's very, very useful for us. We are doing the training, and we are the instructors now," said Staff Sgt. Ayad, a 5th IA Div. instructor at KMTB.
"We know (U.S. forces) will try as much as possible to help us stand for ourselves. We're trying to get the most important training that we'll need to defend our people and our country," explained Ayad.
U.S. forces continued to motivate and train Iraqi forces with great success, added Harden. The culmination of training and transition was "bittersweet" for him.
"We saw a lot of progress with unit discipline. It was refreshing to see (Iraqi soldiers') commitment to the training and themselves," said Harden.
First Lieutenant Kellan Sams, executive officer, Company A, agreed with Harden about the progress of the Iraqi soldiers.
"The Iraqi army soldiers are motivated and always ready to get at (the training)," explained Sams.
Additionally, the Iraqi soldiers never failed to show gratitude to Soldiers of Company A, added Harden
"There was a lot of thanks on an individual level," he said of the Iraqi soldiers.
Harden's appreciation went to his Soldiers, who trained more than 1500 Iraqi soldiers within two months, and didn't allow complacency to set in.
"(Soldiers) were more focused on the mission … focused on the basics and took accountability everyday," added Harden.
Staying focused was important when the advise, train and assist mission transitioned, resulting in a greater need for force protection, said Sams.
In the end, Iraqi soldiers on KMTB provided security for the base as the last of U.S. forces at the Commando compound left, he said.

Page last updated Wed August 24th, 2011 at 09:34