COS KALSU, Iraq Aca,!" Public Affairs officers assigned to the 8th Iraqi Army Division met with their 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division counterpart at Contingency Operating Site Kalsu for a joint training seminar, April 27.

The Iraqi PA officers assigned to the Diwaniya, Babil, Najaf, Wasit and Karbala provinces discussed the difference between their duties and an American public affairs officersAca,!a,,c duties, and different techniques they can use to get their message out to their target audience.

Aca,!A"This day was very beneficial,Aca,!A? said Col. Hassan Hadi Ali, the 8th IA public affairs officer in Diwaniya Province, through an interpreter. Aca,!A"It was a great refresher for us and the hand outs we received will be a great tool for us to reference.Aca,!A?

The conference was also a good chance for the Iraq officers to get together and share ideas.

Aca,!A"We are supposed to meet once a month, but based on the current circumstances usually only one or two of us get together. Every six months, we go to a course together, but any time we have a chance to do something like this it is good.Aca,!A?

The Iraqi officers got to perform a mock press conference, in which they played the part of reporters. The exercise helped demonstrate how they could approach difficult questions.

Aca,!A"If you donAca,!a,,ct enjoy your work, you will not perform it well,Aca,!A? said Lt. Col. Salem Mohammed Attar, the public affairs officer for the 8th IA in Karbala Province. Aca,!A"We give daily media reports that turn into weekly reports, those turn into monthly reports and those turn into annual reports. When I look at all of that at the end of the year, I get a huge sense of accomplishment.Aca,!A?

Lt. Col. Starr Naim Mazloum, AttarAca,!a,,cs counterpart in Babil Province, stressed that the media reports he and his fellow public affairs officers put together daily are very useful tools for his superiors.

Aca,!A"They are very important because we give analysis to what is being reported,Aca,!A? he said. Aca,!A"We factor in media events into our security plans. We use it to look after our Soldiers and help our commanders make important decisions.Aca,!A?