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Wednesday, June 15, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Iraqis training to maintain 8,000 Humvees
left behind by U.S.

BAGHDAD — Iraq has been taking over responsibility for the maintenance of its huge U.S.-origin combat vehicle fleet.


Officials said the Iraq Army has been trained to maintain and support thousands of U.S.-origin Humvee combat vehicles. They said the Army was training mechanics and other personnel to ensure operations of up to 8,000 Humvee vehicles donated by the U.S. Army over the last three years.

This isn't their first time working on the trucks," U.S. Army Spc. Brooke Lohuis said. "We're focusing more on trying to get their system on how they order parts, how they fix parts, how they get their tools and teaching them easier ways we know on how to fix the problems they have."

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Officials said the U.S. military has completed a project to transfer about 8,500 Humvee vehicles to the Iraq Army and security forces, Middle East Newsline reported. They said the vehicles, meant to replace pickup trucks and civilian platforms, have undergone refurbishing in Kuwait before deployment in Iraq.

The Humvee training has taken place at the Kirkush base and assigned to the Iraq Army's 5th Division. Officials said Iraqi cadets have been undergoing 25-day courses in an effort by the army to assume full responsibility for the Humvee fleet.

"We're trying to show them not just PMCS [preventive maintenance checks and services], but taking them to the next level so they're able to quickly identify the fault, fix the fault and get the truck back on the road in order to go on with their mission," U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Roger Peterson, in charge of maintenance training, said.

Officials said the training would be vital to maintain Iraq Army operations in wake of the U.S. withdrawal in late 2011. They said the army has been plagued by gaps in logistics that have hampered numerous combat units.

The training program for mechanics was meant to develop a cadre of Iraqi instructors for the Humvee. Officials said the U.S. military has supplied Humvee manuals in Arabic to facilitate classroom instruction.

"I've dealt with these Humvees for three or four years, but I need to learn more details about these trucks in order to complete our missions," Iraq Army 1st Pvt. Kalid Mahde Mosser said. "Working with the manuals they gave us makes the training very easy to go into detail and do it step by step."

The U.S. military has also established a database to order Humvee parts. Officials said supply units within the Iraq Army's 5th Division would be linked to a computer network that would contain data on supplies and availability.

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