Coalition Leaders Review Iraqi Ranger Training at Camp Taji

CAMP TAJI, Iraq –The Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) – Operation Inherent Resolve’s (OIR) command sergeant major, reviewed the Iraqi Ranger training program during a visit to Task Group Taji, Jan. 23.

Soldiers from New Zealand and Australia direct the training at Camp Taji – one of four building partner capacity locations run by Coalition forces to enhance the readiness of Iraqi security forces.

“Task Group Taji is giving the Iraqis the skills they need to not only protect the populous of Mosul, but to protect themselves as well and contribute to a stable environment,” said U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph Cornelison, senior-enlisted leader, Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command – OIR.

During the visit, Iraqi army Lt. Hager Haider, Iraqi Ranger instructor, caught the attention of U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Benjamin Jones, senior-enlisted leader, CJTF – OIR, while teaching his soldiers how to properly move with their weapons on the training range.

“His leadership and his ability to instruct is what keeps these Soldiers wanting to learn more,” Jones said.

Haider conducted advanced training at the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center, Jordan, prior to becoming an instructor at Camp Taji. Now, Haider is bringing his knowledge to his Iraqi counterparts.

“My training was excellent,” Haider said. “The soldiers I am training now are amazing. They are receiving the training well.”

To assist the Iraqis in continuing their success, Sgt. 1st Class Carson Headley, Office of Security Cooperation Iraq senior-enlisted advisor, Security Sector Reform Group, monitors the overall progress of the Iraqi Ranger training.

“We are looking at the long-term effectiveness, affordability and capability of the Iraqi military,” Headley said. “We focus on everything from recruiting to training and equipping.”

Iraqi Ranger training involves sniper and rifle marksmanship, counter IED, medical, mortar and communications, Headley said.

“This group of Rangers are head and shoulders above the rest of the Rangers we’ve seen,” Headley said.

Training at building partner capacity sites is an integral part of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve’s global Coalition effort to train Iraqi security forces personnel to defeat ISIL.

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