Connecticut Headline
General James T. Conway, 34th commandant of the Marine Corps, shakes hands with Col. Darrell L. Thacker, Marine Corps Air Station New River commanding officer, after Conway landed in an MV-22 "Osprey" Nov. 30. Conway spoke at two town hall meetings and toured Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204.Photo by Lance Cpl. Randall A. Clinton

A team of six Marines, one Navy corpsman and two interpreters spent their days teaching students ways to thrive on the battlefield.

“They are being taught techniques that will make them more survivable and successful out there,” Joudy, from New Milford, Conn. said “The students here get the same training the Marines get.”

Instructors were side-by-side the soldiers every step of the way to ensure they grasped the training. Exercises ranged from zeroing their AK-47 assault rifles to plotting grid coordinates.

“It is my honor to be here because the Marines teach us well and make us more confident in fighting the enemy,” said Asaad Alasnawi, an Iraqi Army soldier and student here.

Part of that respect was due to the fact Marines are teaching the Iraqi soldiers as fellow men-of-arms.

“We treat them like Marines,” added Sgt. Donnie E. Hebert, infantryman and instructor. “I am firm, but fair with them. After the training day is over, we all hang out together and joke around just like Marines do.”

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