BAGHDAD - The Iraqi Army Engineer School unveiled its tiered-seating graduation hall with a ceremony inside the hall at Camp Taji Dec. 6.
"What this auditorium represents is the partnership between the United States Forces-Iraq and the Iraqi Army, that we hope will only continue to grow," said U.S. Army Col. James Anderson, operations chief with Iraq Training and Advisory Mission-Army.
The partnership has changed from USF-I constructing buildings for the Iraqi Army when it needed them to offering advice and guidance in an effort assist the Iraqis in developing self-sustaining capabilities by building facilities for themselves, said Anderson, a native of Rolla, Mo.
The four-phase project began in May with construction of a stage and tiered seating. In August dry wall was installed followed by electrical work a drop ceiling, and the installation of lighting as the final phase.
When the whole thing began there were no materials, just an idea, said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Alton Mickle Sr., ITAM-Army senior enlisted advisor to the Iraqi Army Engineer School.
"We were able to conduct training," said Mickle, whose Military Occupational Specialty is a construction supervisor. "We brought our 'PowerPoint' slide presentations on how to do construction and translated them into Arabic."
The U.S. advisors led classes, said Mickle, a native of Portsmouth, Va. "Then they in turn started to teach their people how to do this construction."
The graduation hall will be used for Iraqi Engineer School graduations and for students to watch instructional documentaries and movies, said Iraqi Army Col. Falaeh Ndem Jawad, commander of the Iraqi Army Engineer School.
"This school has already achieved the ability to stand alone without U.S. assistance, but we continue to help them improve," Anderson said.