1st Battalion 22nd Infantry



1-22 part of MiTT Baghdad


Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

MND-B / 4ID release for your consideration.

SGM Eric Lobsinger
MND-B/4ID PA Chief



Media Release

HQ-MND Baghdad
Baghdad, Iraq
O AE 09344


RELEASE No.  20080512-07                                                                        May 12, 2008



MiTT Soldiers assist, mentor Iraqi Army leaders

Spc. David Hodge

1st BCT PAO, 4th Inf. Div., MND-B

FORWARD OPERATING BASE FALCON, Iraq – Military Transition Team Soldiers play an integral part
in helping form the future of Iraqi Security Forces in the Multi-National Division – Baghdad operational environment
by assisting and providing guidance daily to the staff sections at the brigade and battalion levels.

            These select officers and enlisted Soldiers from the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division,
operate from Joint Security Station Jihad and interacts daily with the staff sections of the 43rd Brigade, 11th Iraqi Army Division.

            “The whole purpose of us being here is not to make the brigade MiTT successful, it’s to make the Iraqi brigade successful,”
said Lt. Col. Rick Caya, the MiTT chief and executive officer with 43rd Bde., 11th IA Div., who is assigned to 1st BCT.

            In the past, MiTT teams dealt more with hands-on training but now focus on the staff sections
because the Iraqi Security Forces have become a more self-sustainable entity, added Caya.


“It’s important for the staff to work together properly because that is how it works in a military organization,”
said Caya, who hails from Waterloo, Iowa. “There are some things that the IA does not do our way – and that’s fine.
We try to figure out how they operate and help them make it better.”

            When the MiTT assumed the area of northwest Rashid April 13, the IA staff had coordination issues with each other, said Caya.

It is vital that the staff and commander have to work together to make sure the unit functions properly
over periods of months and years, he said, adding that each staff section leader’s goal is to provide information to the IA commander
to reach the best decision possible given a time constraint.

            That is why Caya and his team of 15 1st BCT “Raider” Soldiers spend hours each day with individual engagements
among the staff members and their sections and offer suggestions when the IA soldiers, or jundis, have any issues.


“We coach, teach and mentor our counterparts in our respective areas to enable them to operate smoothly
in this difficult environment,” said Warrant Officer Paul Franks, effects trainer, 43rd Bde., 11th IA Div., MiTT.
“It is the interpersonal relations between the American team member and his counterpart that will make them successful.”

            During his interactions with the IA, Franks said he believes that it is imperative to conduct himself in a professional manner at all times.

            “The Iraqis look to us as the most professional army in the world,” said Franks, a Phoenix native.
“The IA wants to duplicate the qualities they see will work to make them a better organization.”

            Franks has been deployed to Iraq three times and said he has seen great strides toward improvements in the IA and Iraq over the last five years.


“I am quite impressed with the IA unit’s nationalism and pride,” Franks explained.
“The soldiers and officers are dedicated to their country and brigade regardless of their religious sect or where they come from.”

            Also at JSS Jihad, a battalion-level MiTT team works to assist all operations for their Iraqi counterpart, the 2nd Battalion, 43rd Bde., 11th IA Div.

            Similar to Caya’s team, the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st BCT MiTT assesses and evaluates
its battalion counterparts in every aspect of their tactical and administrative performance, said Capt. Nate Rawlings,
maneuver trainer, 2nd Bn., 43rd Bde., 11th IA Div., MiTT.

            “We coordinate combined operations and accompany the units on patrols and raids to assess the strengths
and weaknesses of the battalion,” said Rawlings, a native of Chattanooga, Tenn.

            Rawlings and his six fellow “Regulars” Battalion Soldiers enjoy developing strong working relationships
with the Iraqi soldiers and often eat some local foods with the jundis at lunch time.


“I enjoy working with the IA and seeing how they actually function,” said Sgt. Christopher Hardt,
a tanker from Dallas, assigned to the 2nd Bn., 43rd Bde., 11th IA Div. MiTT. “We are making a difference for them
by making them step-up to the plate and take responsibility for their actions.”

            When training is not scheduled by the 43rd Bde, it is scheduled by the 11th IA Div. or the Ministry of Defense
and on occasion, the MiTT Soldiers provide training for the IA, said Caya.


The training events are first taught to the IA lead instructor by the MiTT Soldiers.
Then, the MiTT takes a step back and provides over-watch as the lead instructor teaches the battalion
and company instructors, who in turn teach the material down to the lowest level, the jundis.

            In the near future, Caya said, the IA will be conducting Warrior Leaders Course training, combat life saver training
and weapons training on the M16, which are now being issued to the IA.

            With the ISF gaining more control of Iraq, the U.S. Army will slowly be able to withdraw its forces,
leading to the ultimate goal of Iraq defending itself with no assistance, added Caya.

“I love having a job that is tactically and strategically important, where the team can have a large influence
on the unit’s future success,” Rawlings explained. “The Iraqis are a fascinating and wonderful group of people
and work extremely hard to make their unit better.”


Forward Operating Base Falcon, Iraq
SPC Michael Sabia, 43rd Brigade, 11th Iraqi Army Division, Military Transition Team,
assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Multi-National Division - Baghdad,
demonstrates the proper way to disassemble an M16 rifle April 23 for Iraqi Army soldiers
from the 43rd BDE, 11th IA DIV, during weapons familiarization training
at Joint Security Station Jihad.

(U.S. Army photo courtesy of Warrant Officer Paul Franks, 43rd Bde., 11th IA Div., , MiTT,
assigned to the 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div., MND-B)




Forward Operating Base Falcon, Iraq
PFC Brian LaMountain, MiTT 1BCT 4ID, shows Iraqi Army soldiers the proper procedures
on assembling an M16 rifle April 23 during training at Joint Security Station Jihad.
Currently the M16 rifle is being issued to all Iraqi Army soldiers.

(U.S. Army photo courtesy of Warrant Officer Paul Franks, 43rd Bde., 11th IA Div., , MiTT,
assigned to the 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div., MND-B)



Forward Operating Base Falcon, Iraq
CPT Rene Santos (left) and SGT Chad Henman, both with MiTT 1BCT 4ID,
load a simulated casualty into the rear doors of a humvee April 4
during casualty assistance training at FOB Falcon.

(U.S. Army photo courtesy of Warrant Officer Paul Franks, 43rd Bde., 11th IA Div., , MiTT,
assigned to the 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div., MND-B)




Center - CPT Burguete, Left - SSG Getchell




FOB Falcon, Iraq
MSG Ulysses Martin, intelligence analyst, MiTT 1BCT 4ID
reassembles an M4 rifle magazine during a few minutes downtime May 8
at JSS Jihad.

(U.S. Army photo by Spc. David Hodge, 1st BCT PAO, 4th Inf. Div., MND-B)




FOB Falcon, Iraq
SGM Robert Squires, MiTT 1BCT 4ID
enjoys a fresh haircut courtesy of SSG Mickey Moore,
an information systems operator and maintainer, May at JSS Jihad.

(U.S. Army photo by Spc. David Hodge, 1st BCT PAO, 4th Inf. Div., MND-B)








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