Fort Hood's 3rd Cavalry Regiment is headed to Iraq within in the next month. The Department of Defense made the announcement Wednesday.
As the regiment prepares to leave, their training involves our soldiers acting as Iraqi soldiers and civilians.
Half of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment is deploying to Iraq to advise and assist the Iraqi Security Force.
"It's all about the Iraqis and making sure they're able to do the missions that they need to do to rid Iraq of ISIS," LTC David Rowland, the squadron commander of 1st Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, said.
In order to do so, senior military leaders will be assigned an Iraqi counterpart, and our troops will serve as guardian angels.
"Kinda like Secret Service for the President, we are doing that for the advisers who are helping coach, teach, advise and assist," Cpt. Andrew Teruya with the Apache Troop, 1st Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment said.
"For instance, I'm a squadron commander in the United States Army, my counterpart will be an Iraqi likely a general on the other side," LTC Rowland added.
"We're most likely going to an Iraqi Army compound, Iraqi police or Iraqi government facilities," Cpt. Teruya added.
As troops go into unfamiliar territory it is vital they stay alert and aware of their surroundings.
"They're in a new environment, so where do they need to put themselves to be able to best view, to best secure the area visually so that way we can watch each other's backs," Cpt. Teruya said.
"It gives me, personally, the security knowing that I can focus on my Iraqi counterpart and that my troopers, they can take care of everything else security-wise," LTC Rowland said.
"These are not the enemy. You need to not necessarily take an aggressive posture or have an aggressive nature when you see an Iraqi government official, police, Army... just because they're walking around with a weapon does not necessarily make them a threat," Cpt. Teruya added.
Using unnecessary force could be detrimental.
"It could create a strained relationship for that adviser, it could set back a lot of the work that he or she has done," Cpt. Teruya said.
The 3rd Cavalry Regiment's last deployment was to eastern Afghanistan. They returned from that deployment last February.
Copyright 2018 KXXV. All rights reserved.