Contingency Operating Site Marez – U.S. forces’ training teaches the Iraqi Army how to counter improvised explosive devices. The 15th Engineer Detachment (Explosive Hazards Team), 130th Engineer Brigade, instructs four Iraqi Army divisions, the 4th, 12th, 3rd and 2nd how to target IED’s in order to find them before they can be used to attack Iraqi or U.S. forces.
Each Division has one Engineer Officer participating in the training. Recently an Iraqi officer met with 1st Lt. Manuel Orozco the officer in charge of the 15th Engineer Detachment for approximately one week of training.
The Iraqi officer said he was excited to finish the class and use the new skills he had learned.
“Our goal is to make them more effective in finding IED’s in their area of operation,” said 1st Lt. Orozco. Mapping where prior IED’s have taken place by using grid coordinates is part of the curriculum, along with keeping logs of previous attacks including times and places.
The 15th Engineer Detachment started preparing themselves to conduct this training in September of 2009 and began sometime in mid October.
We don’t train a set number of days or hours, said 1st Lt. Orozco, we train as long as it takes for our students to be proficient at what they do. Watching them become successful is the most rewarding part of my job, said Lt. Orozco.
Understanding the Iraqi culture and being flexible with training is something that is a must for the 15th Engineer Detachment. Sometimes we have to adjust training because of schedule conflicts, but it’s all worth it in the end when they get it, said 1st Lt. Orozco.
‘Pfc. Jennifer L. Lowes is with the 130th Engineer Brigade Public Affairs Office’