US and allied soldiers are training Iraqi Security Forces to defeat Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters, as part of building partner capacity (BPC) mission.
Conducted by the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve’s multinational coalition at various locations across Iraq, the training focuses on refining, educating, and preparing Iraqi soldiers to transform into an independent military that can counter ISIL and secure their country’s freedom.
Task Force Al Asad BPC officer in charge Danish Army major Christian Friis said: "The ultimate goal is to have Iraqis training Iraqis.
"We want to make sure that they are capable of self sustainment. We also want to instil in them a warrior ethos that leaves a deep impression of what good soldiering is."
Al Asad BPC site is equipped to successfully accommodate and train two Iraqi battalions at a time.
For enlisted Iraqi soldiers, the training primarily focuses on marksmanship fundamentals, urban combat strategies, and counter-improvised explosive devices (C-IED) techniques, while the training for officers consists of operations planning, platoon tactics, and tactical decision-making.
To date, the multinational coalition is believed to have trained approximately 11,000 Iraqi security force personnel, including the Iraqi army’s 7th Division to defeat the extremist organisation, which also poses a threat to Syria and the wider international community.
In addition to providing hours of hands-on training, coalition forces have also developed strong and lasting professional bonds with the 7th Division.
Task Force Al Asad BPC sustainment lead major Scott Benninghoff said: "A strong and stable Iraq with strong ties to coalition nations promotes long-term security of all of the nations involved."
Meanwhile, US and coalition fighter, fighter-attack, and remotely piloted aircraft are continuing to launch airstrikes on ISIL militants in both Iraq and Syria.
Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Iraq include the US, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, the Netherlands, and the UK, while Syrian campaign is supported by Bahrain, Canada, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, in addition to the US.
Image: Danish coalition members explain proper firing positions to Iraqi soldiers during marksmanship training as part of BPC mission at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq. Photo: courtesy of Cpl. Jonathan Boynes.