2nd BCT helps Iraqis demonstrate skills

| June 23, 2011 | 0 Comments
A gun crew member with the 19th Bde., 5th Iraqi Army Div., pulls the lanyard on his M198 Howitzer, sending a 155 mm round toward the target near KMTB, Diyala province, Iraq, recently. Soldiers in the 2nd BCT, 25th ID, trained IA soldiers on how to use the mortar system.

A gun crew member with the 19th Bde., 5th Iraqi Army Div., pulls the lanyard on his M198 Howitzer, sending a 155 mm round toward the target near KMTB, Diyala province, Iraq, recently. Soldiers in the 2nd BCT, 25th ID, trained IA soldiers on how to use the mortar system.

Story and Photos by
Sgt. David Strayer
109th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

KIRKUSH MILITARY TRAINING BASE, Iraq — Distinguished visitors witnessed the demonstration of interagency cooperation between the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, and Iraqi Security Forces during Operation Iron Lion, here, recently.

Operation Iron Lion is a series of training exercises conducted throughout several provinces, demonstrating interagency development and cooperation.

“Operation Iron Lion is the provincial-capabilities demonstration for the Diyala province,” said Lt. Col. John Ring, chief of security force assistance, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd BCT. “It is an opportunity for the ISF in the province to demonstrate all that they have learned and put their capabilities on display to both local and national Iraqi leaders, as well as the U.S. forces leadership.”

During Operation Iron Lion, Iraqi army battalions partnered with other ISF components to display what they have learned from U.S. training here, said 1st Lt. Scott Guo, HHC, 1st Bn., 21st Inf. Regiment, 2nd BCT.

“This is important and different from past exercises, because it demonstrates the ability of the ISF to utilize interagency efforts with efficiency and effectiveness, to accomplish a large-scale mission,” Guo said.

“Our partnership allowed us to advise, train and assist these guys to gain a familiarity with a 120 mm mortar system that was new to them,” Guo continued, “(to) get them to a proficiency level where they are able to go out and effectively place rounds on a target and provide support by fire to the infantry soldiers.”

Guo added, Iraqi army soldiers showcased competence, attention to detail and professionalism‚ all hallmarks taught by 2nd BCT instructors during the previous month of training.

“This really has been a culminating effort,” said Command Sgt. Major Daniel Dailey, senior enlisted leader, 4th Inf. Div. and U.S. Div.-North. “It shows all of the great training that has gone together with the partnership between the U.S. forces and the ISF, and it shows that the ISF are ready to assume the security mission in the Diyala province.”

An IA soldier, with the 19th Bde., 5th IA Div., pulls the lanyard on his 120 mm mortar, shaking the earth beneath him and sending a round toward a target, recently.

An IA soldier, with the 19th Bde., 5th IA Div., pulls the lanyard on his 120 mm mortar, shaking the earth beneath him and sending a round toward a target, recently.

Ring said Operation Iron Lion provided Iraqi soldiers with a chance to show progress made during the training with their 2nd BCT counterparts throughout Operation New Dawn.

“The effects of this provincial demonstration are profound,” Ring said. “Short term, they are building confidence within the Diyala citizens, leaders and within themselves. In the long term, they are building a reputation that will live on and be something that they can draw upon down the road.”

Beyond displaying the benefits of training with U.S. forces, Dailey said the live-fire exercise let Iraqi soldiers demonstrate leadership and show their capabilities to the Iraqi population.

“Exercises like this build confidence,” Dailey said. “The better trained (the soldiers) are, the more confident they are that they can accomplish the mission. … This gives them confidence … that there is going to be security, peace and prosperity in an area that has not seen that in many years.”

 

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Category: Deployed Forces, News

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