15 April 2011


Iraqi Army prepares for Operation Lion’s Leap

Written by Spc. Andrew Ingram, U.S. Division-North Public Affairs Wednesday, April 13, 2011

CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE WARRIOR, Iraq – U.S. and Iraqi Army leaders began planning and rehearsal for the 12th Iraqi Army Division’s capstone training exercise, Operation Lion’s Leap, during a preparation meeting at Mahgoor Training Site, Kirkuk province, April 10.

Col. Michael Pappal, commander, 1st AATF, and members of 12th IA Div. Stability Transition Team observed rehearsals as Iraqi soldiers practiced for the full spectrum live fire exercise slated to take place April 24.

Iraqi leaders plan to showcase the division’s tactics and progress made during Operation New Dawn as mortar crews, forward ground troops and air assets all integrate to assault an “enemy” objective.

While U.S. Forces give suggestions and support during the preparation phase, Iraqi forces will conduct the live fire operation completely on their own, said Lt. Col. John Poppie, 12th IA Div. STT chief, 1st AATF.

“We are trying to give them some assistance now during the train-up,” said Poppie, who hails from Spokane, Wash. “But when it comes to the exercise itself they will handle everything on their own.”

Iraqi leaders said the goal of Lion’s Leap is to build trust in Iraqi military forces and boost national pride for Iraqi citizens.

“Overall, this training is to demonstrate the capabilities of the Iraqi Army,” Poppie said. “It is important for the people of Iraq to understand that they can rely on their army to keep them safe.” ...

Much more on this story from Iraq (we remember we still have troops there) here.

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