FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARRIOR, Iraq - The 12th Iraqi Army Special Operations Company, and Operational Detachment-Alpha 1216, conducted hands-on weapons training and close combat attacks, near Hawijah, Iraq, Dec. 26.

"Since 2004, we started working with Special Forces groups in Kirkuk," said Sgt. Maj. Sadir, 12th IA SOC sergeant major, through an interpreter. "We started working together as a family, and we were with them for many (missions)."

According to Sgt. Maj. Sadir, who has served in the IA since Nov. 2003, his unit is responsible for all of Kirkuk province, and the training was invaluable to their mission capabilities in the region.

"We benefitted from it for the Soldiers' experience," he said. "(The weapons training was) good, and the support we had (for CCAs) was great."
The partnered training involved instruction and hands-on training for the AT-4 anti-tank weapons system, M-79 grenade launcher and rocket-propelled grenade launcher. Iraqi Soldiers honed their firing skills, particularly with the grenade launcher, using it to mark designated areas for calls for fire during CCAs.

Operational Detachment-Alpha 1216, who has regularly advised and assisted the 12th IA SOC in Kirkuk province, conducted the CCAs with OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter support from 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, Task Force Wings.

"We need that for the future," Sgt. Maj. Sadir said. "Everybody needs air support. (Our CF partners) taught us how to contact the pilots and how to destroy the enemy when we have (combat air support available) without any (friendly) casualties."

When the joint team isn't sharpening its tactical skills, it is out conducting a plethora of missions. But there is always one constant - the unwavering support of the ODA team as the 12th IA SOC conduct their operations.

"We support them on whatever missions they go on," said Mike, a leader within the ODA. "(A lot of times, we capture) guys that have warrants from the Iraqi government or Iraqi police. We go down there together and apprehend them."

The 12th IA SOC's senior enlisted leader took pride in serving alongside ODA 1216. He spoke of the camaraderie the joint team shares.
"We have lost Soldiers (together on both sides), so we are a family," Sgt. Maj. Sadir said. "(Our ODA brothers) are still training us, and we will never forget that training. And we hope this relationship will remain here."