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Iraqi Army learn carpentry from engineer Soldiers 
Pfc. Raymond Shehata (far left 
Pfc. Raymond Shehata (far left), Milford, Mass., helps Iraqi Army Soldiers understand a course of instruction on safety and basic carpentry.  (Courtesy photo)
By Sgt. Tracy Knowles, 101st Engineer Bn. Public Affairs Office, 16th Engineer Bde., Multi-National Division-Baghdad  

BAGHDAD – After two days of a basic carpentry skills course, Soldiers of the 11th Field Engineer Regiment, 11th Iraqi Army Division, finished a practical exercise building dormitory-style rooms, Nov. 14, at Iraq’s Old Ministry of Defense, in northeastern Baghdad.

Soldiers of the 1434th Engineer Company taught a “train the trainer” course so that the IA engineers will be able to continue training each other.

The first day of class covered basic safety instruction on the proper use of power tools, personal protective equipment and safety on the job site.   The classes included hands-on training for measuring and cutting boards correctly the first time.

With guidance from the 1434th Soldiers, IA Soldiers put their new skills to use on the second day of class. Split into two groups, the Soldiers practiced measuring and cutting boards and framing the dormitory-style rooms in the existing structure.

“It was great, there was sawdust everywhere, the IA Soldiers were so excited to be working they didn’t want to take a break,” said Pfc. Raymond Shehata, of Milford, Mass.

Shehata, originally from Egypt, was assigned to the project because of his fluency in Arabic and helped out with the hands-on portion of the class.

Shehata’s ability to speak Arabic helped to strengthen the partnership and camaraderie between the IA Soldiers and the 1434th.

Shehata gained valuable insight into the effectiveness of the training because of his comprehension of Arabic.  He was crucial to earning the IA Soldiers’ respect, which contributed greatly to the success of the mission.

“Being a part of the partnership training gives me a great feeling of accomplishment; knowing I was teaching them new skills,” said Shehata.