By Sgt. 1st Class Damian Steptore, 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div., PAOSeptember 8, 2008
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq - Approximately 20 Iraqi Army Soldiers looked like a well-oiled machine, as the trainer-candidates formed up in five-man stack teams at Camp Dhi-Qar's basic training site Aug. 25. The IA Soldiers glided through a make-shift neighborhood, built by the Multi-National Security Transition Command - Iraq, Coalition Army Advisory Training Team searching house-to-house for suspected criminals. "I feel I take many benefits from the training to help my country, said Cpl. Fakher Hamadani, one of the new Iraqi trainer candidates. "I want to protect our country, our people and destroy the terrorists." As the Iraqis approached their objectives, many of the future trainers displayed the tactics and techniques that were taught to them by MNSTC-I, CAATT Soldiers during the 30-day basic instructor training course. "The mission here is to train the Iraqi Army to sustain themselves, which they're actually doing," said Sgt. 1st Class Steve Brightwell, a member of the Army Reserves from Louisville, Ky. Brightwell and two of the MNSTC-I, CAATT combat Soldiers dedicated the first two weeks of the course to weapons familiarization and house-to-house search procedures. Once the candidates passed a written and practical exam, the following two weeks involved teaching the Iraqis how to teach each other to learn those same procedures. Although the training site has operated for only three months now, the Staff General of the 10th Iraqi Division, Hussian Alghzi, is impressed with how well the Soldiers are prepared to teach. "This is a very good range and training facility for me and my Soldiers," he said. "It's exactly like how the town (Nasiriyah) is, and we get better training that way." "There is a benefit for the Soldier, and when they go back to their unit, they teach their unit the skills they've learned here." added 1st Lt. Talip Alhaidary, a 10th IA Div. training officer. The trainees had a formal graduation ceremony at Contingency Operating Base Adder Aug. 25.