Story by MAJ Vonnie Wright on 08/31/2019Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, conducted air assault mission rehearsals alongside Iraqi commandos in the first week of May 2019 in a mountainous region southwest of Mosul, Iraq.
The rehearsal was part of Task Force Ninewah's mission to advise and assist Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) in the ongoing mission to defeat Daesh and prevent any possible resurgence of their organization.
The mission rehearsal was the culmination of weeks of Soldiers from Charlie Company, 1-327IN teaching Iraqis how to conduct air assaults. The company trained 2 platoons of Iraqi commandos and coached and mentored the ISF through hot and cold load training. They also conducted elevator training where the helicopter takes off vertically and then lands which is the most realistic training. All of these exercises were done at a helicopter landing zone in preparation of the mission rehearsal. The joint force conducted some other rehearsals such as walking under night vision and establishing a patrol base.
1st. Lt. Drew Maillet, the platoon leader during the training, said, "The event was definitely a success. None of my Soldiers or the Iraqi commandos were harmed, and we were able to conduct effective training that will have lasting effects. I look forward to potential future training exercises with our Iraqi partners."
Air assaults are a vital part of gaining both a psychological advantage as well as a military advantage over the enemy. It is something done with speed, surprise and maneuverability. Air assaults will provide the ISF with the ability to conduct operations in isolated areas throughout Ninewah Province.
Coalition training programs include courses in areas as diverse as operational planning, counter-terrorism, logistics and sustainment, equipment maintenance, counter-IED techniques and law enforcement.