By Capt. Stephen JamesJuly 29, 2017
CAMP TAJI MILITARY COMPLEX, Iraq - Soldiers from the 29th Combat Aviation Brigade and the 82nd Airborne Division's 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, Task Force Red Falcon, were hosted at Camp Taji Military Complex, Iraq, July 19,2017 by their Iraqi partners to conduct joint training that will create a foundation for further operational cooperation and interoperability between the two organizations.
The planning session began with both the Paratroopers and Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) sharing tactics, techniques and procedures for quick reaction force situations.
"Today's training and planning session was a culmination of almost three months working with our Iraqi partners," said Capt. Logan Reed, the 29th CAB's Iraqi partnership officer.
This event also included a dry-run exercise in which Task Force Red Falcon Paratroopers and the ISF worked together to set up a security perimeter on a 29th CAB CH-47F Chinook helicopter provided by Company B, 2-149th General Support Aviation Battalion, operating as part of Task Force Rough Rider.
"Training at the lowest level is essential for fluidity on the battlefield," said 1st Lt. Max Wiese, an infantry officer assigned to Company C, 1-325th AIR, 2nd BCT.
The 29th CAB Soldiers also assisted their Iraqi counterparts with improving their radio capabilities to allow for both Iraqi and U.S. aviation operations centers to digitally talk with one another.
"We assisted in bridging the communication gap between Iraqi army aviation headquarters and the 29th CAB, both located at Camp Taji," said Reed.
Spc. Andrew Minter, a radio-telephone operator from the 29th CAB, acknowledged that working with his Iraqi counterparts was an "eye opening experience" as they exchanged information regarding communications equipment.
The 29th CAB will continue working with their Iraqi army aviation counterparts as they continue to build upon successes in training and on the battlefield.
"We look forward to continuing this vital partnership as we assist the ISF in defeating ISIS and building their capabilities," said Reed.
The 29th CAB, an Army National Guard brigade, supports Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve by providing aviation assets, offensive strike capability, operational and logistical support. CJTF-OIR is the Coalition to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria.