U.S. Soldiers mentor Kurdish Regional Guard at Fire Base Manila
Written by Spc. Andrew Ingram, U.S. Division-North Public Affairs Thursday, April 21, 2011
FIRE BASE MANILA, Iraq – A cool breeze blew through the valley below as Kurdish Regional Guard riflemen stalked down the hill, weapons at the ready.
As they approached the objective, soldiers of 1st Regional Guard Brigade began firing on the unsuspecting enemy while advancing two by two, quickly overrunning their adversaries.
“Okay, good job,” said Staff Sgt. Carlo Viqueira. “Let’s run the next squad through it.” The Kurdish soldiers trekked back up the hill past the silhouette targets representing their defeated enemy, and watched as their comrades ran through the ambush scenario.
Viqueira and other noncommissioned officers of Company B, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 1st Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry Division, deployed to Kirkuk province, Iraq as a part of U.S. Division-North, mentor the Kurdish soldiers as part of their advise, train and assist mission at Fire Base Manila, near the city of Chamchamal.
“The squad and team leaders seem to have a good grasp on what they need to do,” Staff Sgt. Timothy Snyder said of the ambush drills conducted April 14. “Now we need to get the soldiers comfortable in their role as a part of a fire team and squad.”
The ambush training took place 11 days into a four-week training cycle, which includes combat drills, classroom training on map reading and land navigation, and basic medical training.
“Most of what we teach them, American Soldiers learn in basic training,” Snyder said.
Snyder said training the KRGB soldiers presents interesting challenges beyond just the language difference.
“Their culture is a lot different from ours,” he explained. “In my class of 28 there are probably 11 who cannot read or write, but they respect us and are eager to learn what we have to teach them.” ...
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