CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE MAREZ, Iraq -- Soldiers assigned to 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, trained Iraqi soldiers to react to an enemy ambush at Al Ghuzlani Warrior Training Center (GWTC), here, Jan. 5.
Cavalry scouts instructed Iraqi soldiers of 1st Battalion, 11th Brigade, 3rd Iraqi Army Division, fundamental techniques for properly reacting to ambushes from various distances.
"The reason we are giving them this training is so they will be able to defend themselves against the enemy if they ever encounter an ambush," said Sgt. Martin Gaymon, a cavalry scout assigned to Troop A, 1st Sqdn., 9th Cav. Regt.
"If every soldier knows how to operate at the basic level, it will make their army better as a whole," said Gaymon.
Different from responding to basic enemy contact, ambushes involve enemy forces deliberately positioning to engage friendly forces.
During the training scenarios, Iraqi soldiers moved as squads at the GWTC, remaining watchful and alert, knowing the enemy could attack at any minute.
U.S. forces, operating at GWTC, led the individual and collective infantry training for soldiers of the 3rd IA Div. as part of Al Tadreeb Al Shamil, Arabic for "All-Inclusive Training," a four-week training cycle to develop Iraqi Army division's offensive and defensive capabilities.
The soldiers moved silently during their training exercise, only using hand-and-arm signals to communicate.
When U.S. forces simulated attacks, using the word, "bang," the IA soldiers immediately assumed defensive positions to engage the enemy and secure the area.
"We are here to help improve their army overall," said Sgt. William Fatherree, a scout assigned to Troop A, 1st Sqdn., 9th Cav. Regt. "We're training them on the things we were taught."
"One day they will have to train their own soldiers, so we are laying a foundation so they can pass the training along," said Fatherree.
As Iraqi soldiers demonstrated their growing competency throughout the training, they asked to lead their own soldiers.
"This training is very good for us," said Iraqi Army 1st Lt. Kasim Muhemed, platoon leader, 1st Bn., 11th Bde. 3rd IA Div. "We are learning in two parts: classroom and doing it directly."
"This helps us to learn more and improves the Iraqi Army," said Muhemed.
Soldiers of 1st Sqdn., 9th Cav. Regt., continue to train the Iraqi battalion at the Al Ghuzlani Warrior Training Center through January as part of U.S. Division-North's advise, train and assist mission in support of Operation New Dawn.
Article by Spc. Angel Washington, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade Public Affairs