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Sending out well trained ISF

Marine Corps News

Story Identification #: 2005590351
Story by Lance Cpl. Athanasios L. Genos

CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq (May 9, 2005) -- At the inception of the Iraqi Security Force, it was unclear what the future would hold for its service members.

Today, with the assistance of the Marines, they are gaining control over insurgent activities here and stabilizing their country.

The soldiers with 2nd Battalion, Muthanna Brigade of the ISF began working with 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment in January prior to the Iraqi national elections. The Marines mentored them, helping them to combine the discipline and tactics of the Corps with their knowledge of the area and culture to better protect the country from insurgents and allow for a safe, democratic election.

“When we first started working with them, I had them show us what they knew instead of us telling them what to do. It helped us get off to a good start,” said Capt. Andrew M. Del Gaudio, the senior battalion advisor to 2nd Battalion, Muthanna Brigade. “We were fortunate to have a well disciplined group who saw the election as their own.”

After the successful election, the two groups pushed forward with the joint training, helping to familiarize the Marines with their battalion’s area of operations and giving the ISF a solid foundation of knowledge from which to operate.

The Marines began training the Iraqis in vehicle and personnel check points, mounted and dismounted patrols, and general military skills. Most of the training the ISF received was on-the-job, which enabled them to work hand-and-hand with the Marines learning from their experience and knowledge.

While they learned from the Marines, they also brought a valuable resource to the operations they conducted; knowledge of the culture and language.

They learned by our example. Working hand-and-hand with us in real operations allowed them to learn very quickly, while at the same time bring a lot of their local knowledge to the table,” Del Gaudio stated.

The Muthanna Brigade has been working with the Marines for nearly four months.

“These guys are by far the best I have worked with out of the many groups I have advised,” said Del Gaudio. “With the Muthanna Brigade we gave them a piece of the pie and they just kept on running with it. They want peace in their country.”


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