BAGHDAD ø U.S. officials said a sufficient number of Iraqi military personnel have
graduated officers' course to entitle them to train troops and officers.
They said the new Iraq Army has nearly 1,000 officers who have completed
courses to lead units ranging from platoons to brigades.
On June 17, 843 Iraqi army officers graduated from the Jordanian
Military Academy in Zarqa, Jordan, Middle East Newsline reported. The program is part of the Coalition Military
Assistance Training Team's effort to train and equip Iraq's armed forces.
Officials said the graduation of the second class from the Jordanian academy
marked the completion of officer training for the Iraqi army's three
"Graduates will form the last four full brigades from the brigade
commander and staff down to platoon commanders," Coalition Military
Assistance Training Team chief of staff Col. James Mulvenna said. "From here
on in, the Iraqi military will train their own officers."
Officials said the courses lasted from six to eight weeks at the
Jordanian school. They included a company and platoon leader's course, a
brigade and battalion staff course, and a brigade and battalion commander's
course that trained junior officers to field lieutenant colonels.
In addition to leadership skills, the Iraqi officers were taught
the military's role in a democratic society, international law, the law of
armed conflict, unit training development, training strategies, roles and
development of noncommissioned officers, problem solving, staffing
principles, physical fitness and weapons training.
"Rebuilding the Iraqi army required a modular approach to training given
the quantity of personnel who needed to be cycled through," said British
Army Col. Kim Smith, a liaison officer with the Office of Security
Transition in Amman. "The initial focus was on the leadership."
Officials said the officers will be deployed at training bases
throughout Iraq to receive new recruits. The military plans to deploy 27
battalions by the end of 2004.