By Spc Aaron Crouch, 1st Bn., 12th Cav. Regt. UPAR, 3rd AAB, 1st Cav. Div.June 7, 2011
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq - When the weather was close to its hottest and most Iraqis were seeking relief, the Soldiers of the 10th Iraqi Army Division were busy conducting the final field training exercise needed for them to graduate from a training cycle at al Tadreeb al Shamil.
The U.S. mission in Iraq is to train Iraqi Security Forces in preparation for the upcoming U.S. departure. The training at TAS teaches the men to fill the vacuum left by our absence.
The Iraqi Army sends a new battalion each month for training at TAS. Although the students change every month, the instructors remain the same.
Many agree that this continuity is valuable to the success of the training.
"TAS is successful… a true Iraqi success story. When we took over, we were training the Iraqi Soldiers, now the Iraqi Cadre members are confident, competent subject matter experts. The 10th IA Div. now has the ability to both train and defend itself," said Capt. Bryan Herzog, a native of Shrewsbury, Penn. and the commander of B Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment attached to Task Force 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division.
The Soldiers of the Iraqi Army improve with each cycle and their desire and excitement for training combats complacency.
"They faced a hard month of training in which they improved their ability to defend the borders of their great nation," said Capt. Christopher Haun, a member of Stability Transition Team Eagle and native of College Station, Texas. "The (IA Soldiers) of this battalion leave TaS with a fierce confidence in their country's future and their ability to defend that future."