By Sgt. Matthew C. Cooley

15th Sustainment Brigade

public affairs

CONTINGENCY OPERATING LOCATION Q-WEST, Iraq - Mechanics of the 15th Special Troops Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command, helped the 26th Brigade Military Transition Team train mechanics of the Iraqi army's 26th Infantry Brigade in the 15th's motorpool here throughout November.

The four-week-long training was part of the Army's ongoing effort to build up the Iraqi military's growing capacities as more U.S. troops prepare to leave Iraq.

Sgt. Jason Chlarson, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 15th Special Troops Battalion, took on the training of four Iraqi mechanics and five Iraqi army operators on the Army's level-two maintenance program.

"The course was designed to prepare the Iraqi army mechanics to fully assume their maintenance operation and improve their unit's maintenance readiness," said Sgt. 1st Class Seth Dow, 15th Special Troops Battalion maintenance sergeant.

"The training consisted of how to properly (do preventative maintenance checks and services), and conduct semiannual and annual services on the M1114 up-armored (humvee).

"The Iraqi army mechanics also received classroom instructions and hands on training on how to troubleshoot and replace major components like an engine, transfer case, and the turbo charger on their M1114s as well as many other organizational level parts such as brakes, rotors, batteries, and lights," Dow said.

Chief Warrant Officer-3 Derwin Gibson, the 15th's brigade logistics training and assistance team coordinator, assisted the Iraqi mechanics in ordering parts through their supply chain.

"The ability to receive requested parts increased their confidence in the requisition system," Dow said.

Chief Warrant Officer-3 Diogenes Acosta, a 15th Special Troops Battalion maintenance officer, was pleased that the mechanics were eager to improve their skills.

"The five members of the Iraqi army mechanics, in spite of not have experience working with the M1114, demonstrated to be very skilled mechanics and eager to improve their mechanic skills," Acosta said.

Dow agreed. "The experience was rewarding for both the soldiers of 15th Special Troops Battalion and the soldiers of 26th Iraqi Army Brigade. They both learned a little bit more about each other, and the soldiers of 15th Special Troops Battalion were able to pass on some technical knowledge to help improve the readiness and future of the Iraqi army."

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