Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Marine Capt. and My Friend...

Marine Officer-and My Friend-Works With Iraqi Army....

I am honored to call Capt. Cowen my friend....I highlighted-in red- a statement from Chris...Our BEST do have their heart in this - These are men and women of HONOR:

Lance Cpl. Melissa Latty, 4/25/2009 6:36 AM" width="250">AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq-Capt. Christopher Cowen, a logistics officer with Combat Logistics Battalion 7, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward), assists Iraqi soldiers with the 7th Iraqi Army Division’s maintenance shop, in checking the fluids of one of their vehicles at Camp Mejid, Iraq, April 25, 2009. Cowen volunteered to work with the maintenance shop to advise them on improving their logistics capabilities. (U.S. Marine Corps photograph by LANCE CPL. MELISSA A. LATTY),

Marine officer helps enhance Iraqi Army logistics capabilities


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Until recently, the Iraqi Army has depended on U.S. forces to aid them in the areas of logistics, communications, intelligence, fire support, and infantry tactics. The primary conduit for learning these new skills has been Military Transition Teams.

As the Iraqi Army continues its progression toward operating as an organized force free of direct U.S. support, there are fewer areas where American advisors must lend a helping hand, and one of those is logistics.

Capt. Christopher Cowen, a MiTT adviser during a previous tour to Iraq, continues to help his Iraqi counterparts during his current deployment as a logistics officer with Combat Logistics Battalion 7, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward).

From Oct. 2007 to Oct. 2008, Cowen worked with the command staff of the 7th Iraqi Army Division, helping them improve their logistics element.

In March of this year, Cowen again volunteered to work with the 7th Iraqi Army Division, but this time at the lowest level, teaching Iraqi soldiers how to properly utilize their logistics resources. He said he uses his previous experiences from working with the MITT to assist him in better understanding the current needs of the division.

“I feel like I picked up where I left off,” said Cowen. “I feel my job was left unfinished. I’m now working with the lower level and helping them manage the maintenance shop. I’m trying to get them to use their proper channel of logistics.”

Cowen said his current goal is to get the Iraqi Army to use their own resources to obtain the materials they need for maintenance operations without the help of U.S. forces.

“The captain is helping us reach the results we want,” said Col. Karim Mohammed, the logistics officer for the 7th Iraqi Army Division. “Our goals are the same and he has a great concern for us.”

The soldiers’ main concern is getting the parts and materials they need to keep their equipment and vehicles operating because the materials are not always readily available to them. Cowen is assisting them in finding ways to obtain the things they need to accomplish their missions.

The determined mentor visits the Iraqi division’s maintenance shop twice a week to get updates on how they are operating and advises them in areas where they need extra assistance, such as submitting work and material request forms.

“I convinced them to start a log book to track requests,” Cowen said. “This is all new to them. They are used to submitting the request and possibly never hearing anything back. They now know how to track the request and be persistent in getting approval.”

With Cowen teaching the Iraqi soldiers to order materials the problem they now face is the unavailability of the needed parts.

“We are trying to keep our vehicles in good shape,” said Mohammed. “We don’t want to lose any equipment. It will affect our unit and our missions. Work will slow down and morale will decrease.”

“I just wish we could have parts on hand, at least in small portions,” Mohammed continued. “However, everything is improving for the best since the captain started helping out.”

With five months left on his deployment, Cowen plans to spend a large amount of time working with the division in hopes of helping them improve their operations.

“The Iraqi soldiers know that my heart is in this for a good reason,” Cowen said. “They see we are leaving and know they will have to depend on themselves soon. They will find a way to make it work, they always do.”



biggirlpants said...

nice tribute ccs. thanks for sharing!

christian soldier said...

bgp-thank you for stopping by-
Aren't the BEST the best!!!

Mustang said...

Carol, this was outstanding. Back in the day, before the Marines renamed everything (which they do every twenty or so years), I had the honor of serving as the Executive Officer, 7th Motor Transport Battalion. They were exceptional Marines, doing an exceptional job ... providing real world combat service (logistics) support to deployed infantry units. Our two line companies even helped fight the Yellowstone forest fire.

My best to you and yours, and an hearty Ooorahhh to Captain Cowen.

Semper Fidelis,

christian soldier said...

M-thank you for the info and good wishes-
Chris did give me TWO shirts from his last deployment-labeled -'Military Advisor' !!-
I treasure them--
Thank you for your service....

Rolf Krake said...

Thank you CS :)

Hehe, and now apparently another mainstream media has decided to pick it up for their English news site

A whole new aspect of the climate environ-mental whackos.

True our government is classical liberal/conservative but their agenda is to stop oil dependency from the arab states, Denmark is already energy self sufficient with oil and gas from the North sea, and extensive use of winmills, but they want to invest, invent and spread the technology, our new PM said that we need capitalism and green technology, different viewpoint as from the left, and companies are not paying any carbon taxes, the gov picks up the bill and let businesses go free, but still, the whole global warming scheme is a hoax.

Semper fi!

God bless our country, troops and liberty.


christian soldier said...

Good to hear from you - Rolf-
I like Denmark's energy- independent spirit...

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Great story! Thanks for sharing it. Your friend is making a difference!

christian soldier said...

WS thank you-