By 1st Lt. Nicole Denton, 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div.May 9, 2009
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq - The sounds of hammers, power drills and welding torches used by the Iraqi and American logisticians at Camp White Horse near the operating base here in southern Iraq, could be heard from miles away.
The 27th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division "Rough Riders" have trained their 10th Motorized Transportation Regiment counterparts for 11 months during this deployment to repair broken vehicles, order replacement parts and conduct routine vehicle maintenance.
Spc. Phillip Austin, a vehicle mechanic and member of the battalion's Dhi Qar training team compared the weekly instruction to what U.S. Soldiers receive when they go through Advanced Individual Training upon entering the Army.
"It's an information funnel," said Austin, a native of Easton, Mo. "If we teach one Iraqi and they teach two, then those two can teach others."
The purpose of the course is to ensure the Iraqis become logistically proficient and able to train their fellow Soldiers on basic equipment. They learn how to conduct vehicle preventive maintenance checks and services, to inspect and maintain brake systems and clean out fuel systems.
"Our mission is to ensure the MTR is a self-sustainable and fully mission capable unit before the exit of American troops," said 1st Lt. Monica Colgan, a Rough Rider Maintenance Team Leader from Yakima, Wash.
The units also train on basic Soldier skills, such as rifle marksmanship and leadership techniques.
With approximately one month to go during this deployment, the Rough Rider Soldiers take comfort in knowing this MTR's logistical mission in southern Iraq is being aided by the partnership between the Iraqi and American units.