Skip to comments.Welders, Machinists Aid Iraqi Mechanics
Posted on 01/04/2009 11:39:03 AM PST by SandRat
CAMP DHI QAR Throughout Iraq, Coalition and Iraqi Soldiers have been training side by side in military operations. This partnership has been enhancing the Iraqis technical skills in areas ranging from engineering to maintenance operations.
One such partnership took three young, technically proficient welders/machinists from the Forward Support Company, 14th Engineer Battalion (currently stationed on COB Adder in Southern Iraq) to adjacent Iraqi Camp Dhi Qar to work alongside Iraqi Army maintenance personnel. There, they helped them construct a covered maintenance facility in their motorpool.
Over the course of five days, the three FSC Soldiers trained eight IA mechanics how to use an oxy-acetylene torch cutter and an arc welding machine. On day one, Spc. Eric Coats, a welder from San Antonio, Texas explained how to operate the torch cutter safely and demonstrated several different cutting techniques.
I really enjoyed teaching my techniques and skills to them Coats said, but it was difficult because of the language difference. Shortly after, IA personnel took turns with the torch cutter to remove six rafters from the existing maintenance facility.
Meanwhile, Spc. Vincent Lupio, a welder from Visalia, Calif., and Spc. Darin Blair, a machinist from Gilmer, Texas, assisted in the planning and designing of the new rafters that were to be placed to support the new roof.
Several welding techniques were discussed as everyone worked diligently to piece together pieces of 2 square stock to extend across the 20 foot maintenance facility. Lupio, who is on his second tour to Iraq said, it was rewarding to teach welding and torch cutting techniques to eager, highly motivated people.
After five days of training and work, the IA maintenance facility had a new roof to provide cover from the elements for the IA mechanics. The three FSC Soldiers will never forget their partnership project with the IA, and it has opened new possibilities for future projects and intercultural experiences.