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Coalition Efforts Help Iraqi Navy Succeed at Oil Terminal Protection

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070124-01
Release Date: 1/24/2007 1:07:00 PM

By Lt. Karen E. Eifert, Combined Task Force 158 Public Affairs

OCEAN 6, At Sea (NNS) -- Three senior ranking Iraqi navy officers stationed at the Umm Qasr Naval Base in Iraq concluded a five-day transition leadership workshop Jan. 8 led by Commander, Task Group (CTG) 158.1 in support of maritime security operations (MSO) in the Persian Gulf.

“We’re here to learn from one another, to ensure we continue delivering maximum protection to these oil terminals,” said Marine Maj. Gen. Carl B. Jensen, commander of Combined Task Force (CTF) 158. “Let’s make the most of the time we have, and learn as much as we can together.”

The trio is the first of four teams slated to join CTF 158 to learn command and control concepts associated with the CTG 158.1's mission of protecting Iraq’s Al Basrah and Khawr Al Amaya oil terminals.

The group’s presence represents a significant step forward in the transition of CTG 158.1 responsibilities to the Iraqi navy and marines. The Iraqi officers worked shoulder-to-shoulder with CTG 158.1 staff in their Tactical Operations Center learning mission imperatives at both the operational and tactical levels. They also assessed the training and proficiency of Iraqi marines, and learned of challenges and successes of coalition partners.

Under the guidance of Capt. Chris Noble, commander of Task Group 158.1, the group met with Army Brig. Gen. Michael J. Walsh, Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Gulf Region Division, during a visit to Al Basrah. Walsh noted he was visiting the region to gauge preparations for oil terminal upgrades to include new metering systems, life rafts, automated controls and fire protections systems. Walsh also added he was honored to meet and work alongside the Iraqis on a project that would benefit their entire nation.

The Iraqi visit concluded with CTF 158 and CTG 158.1 escorting the visiting Iraqis back to Umm Qasr where the entire group met with the Naval Transition Team at the Royal Navy base. The team has played a key role in developing and mentoring Iraqi sailors since 2003.

MSO help set the conditions for security and stability in the Persian Gulf and protect Iraq’s sea-based infrastructure to help provide the Iraqi people the opportunity for self-determination.

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