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On the Ground: Forces Mark Training Milestones in Iraq

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 23, 2009 – U.S. forces helped their Iraqi counterparts celebrate a few training milestones this week.

Local sheiks, Iraqi military leaders and U.S. forces attended a Civil Service Corps graduation ceremony for 185 students July 20 in Ninevah province’s Nimrud community.

The Civil Service Corps program, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, provides on-the-job training to young men. Corps workers started a road and canal construction project Jan. 4 and hired students from the local area to become skilled journeymen.

Since then, they have built more than 12 miles of paved roads to ease travel through the region and 18 canals to help farmers irrigate fields.

"This type of project shows that American forces are dedicated to improving the lives of the Iraqi people," said Army Capt. Matthew L. Keith, commander of 1st Cavalry Division’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

A U.S. civil affairs team and company soldiers conducted quality-control inspections throughout construction.

Elsewhere, 11 Iraqi second lieutenants attending the Iraqi Air Force Training School had an opportunity to exercise their English-language skills during a recent tour of an Apache helicopter unit on Camp Taji.

Army Maj. Jamie Wallace, operations officer for the 1-227th Attack Reconnaissance Helicopter Battalion, and a group of pilots paired off with the Iraqi lieutenants. The lieutenants explored different sections of the helicopters and learned about their capabilities and mission.

The students were selected from among 94 Iraqi lieutenants because of their progression within the English Language Training program. The program is managed by the Air Force’s 821st Expeditionary Training Squadron, 321st Air Expeditionary Wing, and uses the Defense Language Institute’s American Language Course.

The program’s goal is to prepare students to achieve an appropriate level of English proficiency for their selected career in the Iraqi air force.

Most of the students are future pilot candidates and will attend undergraduate pilot training at Kirkuk Regional Airbase.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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Related Sites:
Multinational Force Iraq
Multinational Corps Iraq

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