CAMP MEJID, Iraq --
Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq, the organization responsible for the development and training of Iraqi Security Forces, participated in a ground-breaking ceremony for a new divisional training center here today.
The DTC, one of several being built across Iraq, will provide ongoing individual and small unit training to the 7th Iraqi Army Division and subordinate units, prior to participating in combat operations.
“It is imperative the Iraqi soldiers get sound, fundamental, combat basic training, in order to sustain themselves for the future,” said Army Lt. Col. Curt A. Grayer, the senior advisor for the DTC here. “We are dedicated to building a world class training center that will provide outstanding opportunities for the soldiers to become a more cohesive, combat-effective fighting team.”
Once the facility is completed, the organization intends to train high-level Iraqi soldiers to become instructors who will eventually train their own men, enabling the army to become more independent and self sufficient in the process.
Today’s ceremony signified the beginning of phase one of a four phase plan.
The first phase is the construction of a combat assault course, which is scheduled to consist of more than 22 obstacles for the soldiers to maneuver during training.
“This course will promote teamwork while developing a heightened sense of awareness, greater endurance, stronger drive and competitive spirit, while improving overall physical conditioning,” said Grayer.
Future construction phases include classrooms for military education, a small-arms range and a military operation on urban terrain area.
“This site will provide a good opportunity for the Iraqis to increase their war-fighting capabilities,” said Marine Sgt. Jarad K. Stout, the training chief for the 7th Infantry Division Military in Transition Team. “We are looking forward to the completion of the project and to working with the Iraqis on the fire ranges and obstacles.”
The DTC will support the army’s overall training system by building and expanding from existing modules, while bringing the training to their own base.
“We are very excited to have the training center open for the 7th Division,” said Iraqi Staff Brig. Gen. Abdullah Mohammad Bayder al-Jabouri, through interpretation, the commanding general for the 7th Infantry Division. “The Iraqi Army is proud to see positive feelings toward them and we realize the new training center will make us a stronger army against the enemy.”
The construction is scheduled to be completed in six to nine months.