The final mission of Marine Expeditionary Force took place at Iraq's
southern naval base of Umm Qasr, Middle East Newsline reported. Since May, the Marines trained Iraqis
in patrols, night operations, weapons training, and search and seizure
"The Iraqi Marines have a huge responsibility ahead them, because of
your team, and others before, the Iraqi marines are ready and trained,"
Officials said the U.S. pullout would be accelerated over the next
month. They said the government of Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki has failed
to agree to any U.S. proposal to maintain a military training presence in
Iraq. The main point of contention has been the U.S. insistence that its
troops be granted immunity.
At Umm Qasr, the final Marine training mission provided instruction to
more than 1,200 Iraqi troops and conducted 500 combat patrols. Marine
also helped the Iraq Navy in night missions as well as vessel interception
"We advocated for over $10 million of military equipment for the Iraqi
Marines," U.S. Marine Maj. Monte Powell, a team leader, said. "In addition,
the team assessed the basic needs of the Iraqi Navy and made recommendations
to the Iraqi Navy chief."