By Pfc. Terence Ewings, 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div.January 5, 2009
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq - Approximately 2,100 Iraqi Army Soldiers graduated their initial training at the Besmaya Range Complex Dec. 31 increasing the might of the Iraqi Security Forces.
As he visually reviewed the graduating troops of the 41st Brigade, 10th Iraqi Army Division, Gen Habeeb Talib Abbas, commander of the 10th Iraqi Army Division stood and saluted the newest members.
Habeeb displayed pride for his unit with a gentle smile as the Soldiers stood in a mass formation prior to the graduation.
"I am very pleased at the way our partnership is working and how we are doing here," said Habeeb. "I think the 41st Brigade has had some of the best training working with the American troops."
Long Knife Soliders of the 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division helped train the Iraqi troops in weapon-system familiarization and utilizing their combat gear. The Long Knife Soldiers focused on preparing the Iraqis to build from the past and provide security for their country.
Lt. Gen. Frank Helmick, Multi-National Security Transition Command Iraq commander, attended the ceremony.
"The Iraqi Army of today is made up of Soldiers who have only one thing in mind, to provide the people of Iraq a professional security force," said Helmick. "We look forward to serving alongside you in 2009."