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Transition team teaches Iraqi Army soldier skills

By U.S. Army Christopher McKenna Pvt., 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division

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Sgt. Angel Otero teaches Iraqi soldiers sector sketching at Camp Falcon, Iraq, on May 5. (U.S. Army photo by Pvt. Christopher McKenna)
Sgt. Angel Otero teaches Iraqi soldiers sector sketching at Camp Falcon, Iraq, on May 5. (U.S. Army photo by Pvt. Christopher McKenna)

FOB FALCON, Iraq (May 8, 2008) – A mlitary transition team here plays a rigorous and important role in rebuilding Iraq’s capacity to keep the peace.

The MiTT helps the Iraqi army to operate in an optimal manner, said Sgt. Chad Highland, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).

Soldiers from the MiTT, assigned to 1-33rd Cav. Regt., teaches a five-day Iraqi basic training course using U.S. Army knowledge converted into something Iraqi army soldiers can execute.

“It’s basically a course to teach basic Soldiering skills and something to refresh what they … already learned in their basic training,” said San Antonio native Sgt. Adam Troxel, MiTT gunner and trainer.

The five-day course, taught monthly, has a capacity for 25 Soldiers; five from each of the companies with 3rd Battalion, 25th Brigade, 6th IA Division.

Before assuming their duties, the team went through a MiTT course in Taji providing them with guidance on teaching Iraqis, said Highland, from San Clemente, Calif.

The instruction focuses on first aid, guard duty, unit movement techniques, vehicle search, reaction to improvised explosive devices, rules of engagement and other soldiering skills.

“The course itself attempts to focus more toward hands-on training so that the Soldiers can take what we teach them and utilize it out at their battle positions and checkpoints, which is where the majority of the Soldiers coming to us work,” Highland said.

When the MiTT is not conducting classes, the team travels to IA checkpoints and battle positions to ensure the proper procedures learned are being implemented.

“When you actually go out and see them using what you taught them it is rewarding,” Troxel said. “Besides, we are all noncommissioned officers and it is our job to train Soldiers. It’s a reward in itself to be able to stand here and say ‘I help train Soldiers from a completely different country’s army than our own.’”