Monday, August 4, 2008

MNSCT-I representatives visits future Iraqi training facility; signs of transition continue to show

AL ANBAR, Iraq (July 27, 2008) - Army Brig. Gen. Steve Salazar, deputy commanding general of Coalition Army Advisory Training Team, Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq visited the future training site for the 7th Iraqi Army Division near Al Asad Air Base July 20.

A quick reaction force from Marine Wing Support Squadron 274, Marine Wing Support Group 37, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward), provided security during the visit for Salazar and several other service members from MNSTC-I.

The facility, large enough to train more than 300 Iraqi troops, will feature 600 and 300-meter ranges with 200 individual firing points. The facility will provide Iraqi trainees the ability to train with crew-served weapons such as the M240G medium machine gun and .50 caliber machine guns. 100-meter ranges will serve as zeroing and small-arms ranges which will allow trainees to participate in numerous courses of fire.

“The whole idea is to develop the abilities of the Iraqis to train themselves. It starts with us helping to train them and developing a ‘train the trainer’ capability,” said Salazar. “We are at a point in time which the operations allow us to focus some energy into conducting training.”

The facility will have the ability to support three noncommissioned officers schools and a prior service course for those returning from the old Iraqi Army, according to Army Maj. Bennett Eckert.

The range is scheduled for completion some time in 2008.

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