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Task Force Al Asad trains Iraqis on broadcast capability

By By Cpl. Garrett White, 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade

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Oct. 8, 2015 — AL ASAD, Iraq (October 8, 2015) – U.S. Marines with Task Force Al Asad’s Advise and Assist team helped members of the 7th Iraqi Army Division’s (7th ID) media cell set up radio transmission equipment at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Sept. 28.

The equipment, provided through the Iraq Train and Equip Fund, will allow the Iraqi government to broadcast transmissions to help in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The government’s goal is to increase the morale of Iraqis with news of successes against the terrorist organization and messages of a unified Iraq.

“Three weeks ago the 7th ID was given a ‘Radio in a Box,’” said Staff. Sgt. Eric Alabiso, Task Force Al Asad’s information operations adviser, about the device, known as the RIAB. “The Iraqi Ministry of Defense gave them this piece of equipment to enable the 7th ID to broadcast news and communicate with the people in Al Anbar province.”

Iraqi soldiers rigged the antenna to a broadcasting tower, ran the wire from it to the RIAB and calibrated the equipment to the radio frequency for broadcast. While Iraq’s Ministry of Defense provided the equipment and the Marines offered advice on how to best use it, it is ultimately the Iraqis’ responsibility to operate and maintain.

“This new capability will allow 7th ID to get their messaging out to a broader range of people,” Alabiso said. “At the direction of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, the media cell will be able to broadcast Iraqi security forces’ news, Iraqi music and entertainment, and any information and media the Iraqi MOD wants to disseminate to a broad audience.”

While the benefits of this new capability depend on how the 7th Division and Iraqi MOD choose to employ the RIAB, the Advise and Assist team will continue to work with the 7th ID media cell as they get the radio station fully operational.

Task Force Al Asad continues to foster a positive working relationship with its Iraqi partners through projects like the RIAB set-up and other advise and assist and Build Partner Capacity missions, Alabiso explained., with the end goal of building a self-sustaining Iraqi military, capable of securing its nation’s borders and defending its people against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.