By Sgt. Daniel Stoutamire, 2nd AAB, 1st Inf. Div., U.S. Div. - CenterMay 10, 2011
BAGHDAD (Army News Service, May 10, 2011) -- Soldiers of "Dragon Battalion" recently trained a group of soldiers with the 6th Iraqi Army Division on small-unit tactics, placing an emphasis on room-clearing procedures, at Joint Security Station Constitution, Iraq.
The training began with classroom work, which helped the Soldiers with B Company, 1st "Dragon" Battalion, 63rd Armor Regiment understand the prior experience their students had with clearing rooms as a team.
"Their way of entering and clearing a room is quite similar to ours," said Sgt. Andrew Drake, a team leader with the unit. "We're just refining it down, so they can learn sectors of fire and how to move together as a group."
Fifteen students from the 6th IA Div. took part, Drake said. They went through the room-clearance course in groups of four.
The course is a "glass house," with walls made of Hesco barriers, which are wire mesh containers lined with heavy duty fabric and filled with sand, gravel or dirt. The action inside the training area can be observed from above, giving the trainers and the students a way to immediately see and correct mistakes that might be made in early practice sessions.
Some of the noncommissioned officers, those with more experience amongst the students, played an important role in focusing the training.
"The NCOs, they seem to help out some of the other (students)," said Staff Sgt. Stephen Callan, a squad leader with B Co. "A lot of times we would notice them pointing things out if they understood a little bit of what we were saying, like hand and arm signals. They would help out the younger Soldiers."
In addition to basic room-clearance procedures, the Dragon Battalion trainers taught the Iraqis how to handle more complicated situations, such as weapons malfunctions or what to do if a comrade is injured in the midst of an operation.
IA Command Sgt. Maj. Mohammed Sharhan, with the 6th IA Div., said his unit was benefiting greatly from their training with B Company.
"Our soldiers are getting experience from U.S. Soldiers, like how to do survival training, room clearances, and everything else," he said. "When our army will need to work on its own without U.S. assistance, this partnership will be favorable to that and make that possible."