By Sgt. 1st Class Joe ThompsonApril 27, 2009
FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELTA, Iraq - The heat was on a group of Iraqi Army Soldiers, so to speak, as they learned the basics of welding from U.S. Soldiers here recently.
The goal of the training was to provide Iraqi Army Soldiers with a sustainable skill set they can use and pass on to their fellow Soldiers, helping their unit become self-sufficient before the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.
"All of the training is very good right now, and we are getting good experience from the U.S. Soldiers," said Pvt. Hussam Kaidair Abdulhadi, 8th Motor Transport Regiment.
"We can teach the other Soldiers who are working at the 8th MTR, using the training and the new welding techniques and methods we've learned here," added Hussam, one of three IA Soldiers in the class.
The six-day welding course started with a heavy emphasis on shop safety then progressed to oxy-acetylene welding.
"They are doing outstanding," said Sgt. Richard Fierro, shop foreman, service and repair section, Company B, 589th Brigade Support Battalion. "They're really motivated and ready to learn the welding techniques we're trying to teach them."
"They're giving us feedback and asking a lot of questions, which is outstanding," said Fierro, a resident of El Paso, Texas.
Welding skills not only benefit the 8th MTR. They may also provide job opportunities for the Soldiers attending the training.
"I hope to pass on these skills to the Soldiers at the 8th MTR, but I can also use these skills in the future for a job outside of the Iraqi Army," said Sgt. Rahim Taraq, 8th MTR.
This is the third group of Iraqi Soldiers to participate in the course and they have been the quickest to pick up the techniques.
"Compared to all our training groups this is the best group we've had," said Staff Sgt. Philip Daniels, section chief, S and R section, Co. B, 589th BSB. "They're keying in on what we're saying. They're staying focused and motivated through all the training."
"It's been a great experience working with these guys, giving them hands on training, and working with the Iraqi Army is a great experience for both of us," said Daniels, of Greenville, S.C. "It's really rewarding."