United States Forces Reports: Iraqi Navy Patrol Boat crewmen finish training course in US

For immediate release: Sep 27, 2010
Iraqi Navy Patrol Boat crewmen finish training course in US

Press Release 20101102-02

Nov. 2, 2010

BAGHDAD – The second class of the Iraqi Navy Patrol Boat Sailors concluded a 90-day course in patrol boat operations in Morgan City, La., Oct. 29.

This second class of 47 Iraqi Navy students at Swiftships shipbuilding facility represents a significant step forward in the continued development of Iraq’s maritime security capabilities. The course of instruction covered learning how to operate, maintain and deploy the Swiftship, which is the latest addition to the Iraqi naval fleet.

The first Swiftship, Iraqi Navy Patrol Boat 301, was delivered to the Iraqi Navy and dedicated during Iraqi Navy Day ceremonies in Umm Qasr Sept. 26.

Upon completion of training in Louisiana, each crew conducts a four-week crew integration, safety and operations program designed to ensure that each crew is ready to conduct operations and patrols within Iraq’s sovereign territorial waters.

“The development of a fundamental maritime security force to protect Iraq’s oil infrastructure is essential to ensuring Iraq’s economic security and promoting regional stability,” said Lt. Gen. Michael D. Barbero, United States Forces-Iraq deputy commanding general for Advising and Training. “The graduation of this new class of Swiftship sailors is yet another significant milestone in the Iraqi Navy’s fleet modernization program.”

Swiftships, manufactured in the United States, are equipped with the latest navigation and communication equipment packages available. The multi-mission-capable vessel accommodates a crew consisting of up to eight enlisted personnel and four officers.

The partnership to bolster Iraq’s maritime security force is another example of how United States Forces-Iraq and the Iraqi Training and Advisory Mission-Navy are continuing to assist Iraqi Security Forces in developing a self-sustaining maritime security force.