MoonDawg's Den: MTTs in Iraq

MoonDawg's Den

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

MTTs in Iraq

Over at the OPFOR blog they are welcoming a new contributor, 'Lightning', who is a Marine Corps captain recently back from a deployment in Iraq. In his first post for OPFOR, he has some interesting things to say about the Military Transition Team (MTT) concept; Lightning was part of an MTT on his last deployment. MTTs are embedded within Iraqi Army units to provide mentoring on their war-fighting skills, as Coalition forces hand over more security responsiblities to the new Iraqi government. Says Lightining:

Working with the Iraqis was a unique experience. We had to remind ourselves on a regular basis that the jundi were not US Marines and could not be expected to behave like Marines in a gunfight. They did not display any of the aggressiveness that we expect of a Marine infantry unit, nor did they have much in the way of fire discipline. Many times we saw the “Iraqi death blossom” effect as jundi fired in random directions on automatic. On the other hand they were fearless – more like foolhardy – when they encountered IEDs, something that most Marines will give a wide berth. Despite their lack of tactical skill, it was hard to deny the advantage of speaking the local language. On several occasions they were able to pick out foreign fighters just from an accent or a word used by a detainee.
As I've noted before, we don't hear nearly enough about the bravery and sacrifice of Iraqi soldiers who - with far less resources and training than our own troops have - are putting themselves in harms way to bring about a better future for their country. It's a absolute crime that terrorists who target Iraqi civilians get more coverage in the American media than the tens of thousands of Iraqi troops who are risking it all every single day.

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