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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Rough Riders provide keys to smooth ride

Captain Jerry Stover, C Company, 27th Brigade Support Battalion shows Iraqi Army soldiers medical examining techniques while he was on a Military Transition Team at Camp Zaytun, Irbil, Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Kendra Evers, 27th Brigade Support Battalion)

SR# 031407- 37
March 14, 2007

By 1st Lt. Kendra Evers
27th Brigade Support Battalion

CAMP ZAYTUN, Iraq – Eight troops assigned to the 27th Brigade Support Battalion recently returned from a month-long training mission outside the city of Irbil, which is located just to the east of Mosul.

Their mission was to train two battalions of Iraqi soldiers in vehicle-related tasks.
“The Iraqi Soldiers have a general knowledge in maintenance now that we’ve trained them; but when we arrived, there were lots of challenges,” said Sgt. Blake Carlson, a mechanic in B Company who was among the Soldiers chosen to go.

Private Mark Maguregui, a fellow mechanic from B Company, 27th BSB, agreed with Carlson and added that because a Humvee starts very differently from typical civilian vehicles, many of the soldiers were unfamiliar with how to start the engine.

The primary focus was for the Soldiers from the 27th to train the Iraqis on roll-over drills, combat lifesaver training, driver’s training, basic preventative maintenance checks and services, and convoy procedures.

All of the Soldiers chosen to go were designated experts in their field – mechanics, medics, or infantrymen – and worked together to teach the Iraqis the basic skills they would need to operate as an effective army.

All the Soldiers that went said they enjoyed their time there, and saw it as a great experience to be able to teach Iraqis and see the results of their training.

“The littlest stuff meant so much to them,” said Spc. Devon Binyard, a Soldier from B Company’s gun truck platoon. “We don’t realize how much we take for granted, until we see things from their perspective.”

The BSB troops said they also learned a lot about the Iraqi culture, religion and lifestyle, and of the Iraqi’s gratitude toward American Soldiers.

“It was very rewarding to watch an Iraqi that you just taught how to do something turn around and show his buddy what he just learned,” said Binyard. “I told them we are here to help them.”

Overall, the group said they enjoyed the trip away from their daily routine back at Forward Operating Base Marez and would enjoy getting an opportunity to train the Iraqi troops again.

Mechanic Spc. Keith Wright, B Company, 27th Brigade Support Battalion works on a Humvee. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Kendra Evers, 27th Brigade Support Battalion)

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