Iraq (Nov. 23, 2015) —
U.S. Army executive officers met with Iraqi Security Forces officers earlier
this month to discuss upcoming building partner capacity training for Iraqi
forces at the Baghdad Fighting School.
Each week, prior to training Iraqi Security Forces, members of the Alpha
Company, 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th
Mountain Division (LI), meet with the Iraqi officers to explain the type of
training their Iraqi soldiers will receive. This knowledge empowers the
officers to take charge and demonstrate proper execution of the training in the
days that follow.
The Iraqi Security Forces receive training from the coalition before returning
to their respective areas of operations.
“The [training] additionally provides the officers with the confidence to
become more invested and involved in the training because they know what is
going on,” 1st Lt. Alexander Graves, the company executive officer explained.
“We are currently witnessing the direct effects of the [training’s] benefit
within the officer ranks of our current BPC rotation.”
Graves and 2nd Lt. Kenneth Seamans, a platoon leader with Alpha Company, gave
the officers a one-week refresher training before moving on to new areas of
During week one, the Alpha company team taught the basics of squad movement,
which included squad formations such as the wedge, file, and staggered-column.
“These formations are simple and easy to understand. When in contact with enemy
forces, maintaining these formations and proper spacing will keep you alive,”
Once the refresher portion was complete, Graves and Seamans outlined the new
skills the security forces will be taught.
The second week of training for the Iraqi Security Forces included instruction
on how to execute squad-bounding techniques, how to identify an IED, how to
react to direct and indirect enemy contact and a squad attack, and how to enter
and clear a building.
As they moved through the different areas of training, the officers pulled from
their personal experience and asked questions about how the skills would be
used in certain situations, and explained how they have previously approached
“We only have three weeks to teach you how to shoot, move and communicate. We
can’t go out there and fight with you,” Seamans told the officers. “We will
teach you everything we can during the time we have to make your [forces]
The Iraqi officers continued asking questions about each training scenario to
gain insight and learn different approaches to situations. They also discussed
how each skill could have been used in situations they have previously
encountered such as open fields with IEDs or having enemy forces on a floor
below them in a building.
At the close of the instruction, Maj. Kasim, an officer with the Iraqi Security
Forces, expressed his gratitude for the work being done by the Soldiers of 1-87
“You are doing a good job,” Kasim said. “Since you started training them, we
saw an immediate improvement in our security forces.”
This training is conducted in support of the Combined Joint Task Force –
Operation Inherent Resolve building partner capacity mission. Training at
building partner capacity sites is an integral part of Combined Joint Task
Force – Operation Inherent Resolve’s multinational effort to enable Iraqi
Security Forces personnel to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.