By Sgt. Owen Kimbrel
Al ASAD, Iraq — In the early morning as a slight drizzle evaporated on the arid landscape of Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, U.S. Marines and members of the Royal Danish Army (RDA) worked together to assist Iraqi Security Forces in the art of warfare during live-fire marksmanship training, Oct. 26.
The training was a part of the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve building partner capacity (BPC) mission set into motion by the RDA, with the help of the U.S. Marine Corps, to develop the combat skills of Iraqi soldiers in order to improve their effectiveness on the battlefield against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
“In my opinion, I think it’s very important because we teach them how to shoot and become better marksmen,” said Gunnery Sgt. Martin, a primary shooting instructor with the RDA. “The more they practice, the more confidence they develop and are able to display on the battlefield.”
With the Marines providing security during the training, the Danish Soldiers were able to give instruction to the Iraqi forces on the proper techniques while firing from ranges up to 200 yards.
The main goal in BPC is to train the Iraqi soldiers in primary weapons handling and various other military tasks in order to make them more efficient on the battlefield, added Martin.
“It feels pretty good to be able to come out here and work with the Danish Army and see how they operate,” said U.S. Marine Cpl. Kyle Bacon, a team leader with Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment. “It really is a great opportunity to be able to learn how other countries operate and just be able to build great working relationships.”
The BPC will continue to train the ISF not only in weapons handling, but also other areas ranging from counter-improvised explosive device tactics and mortar employment.
Al Asad AB is one of five Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve BPC sites in Iraq dedicated to training ISF in an effort to eliminate the threat posed by ISIL in Iraq, the region and beyond.