Kurdistan’s “Blackwater” Center!

    I challenge you to watch the above video, and tell me the majority of the tactics, gear, people, and location couldn’t have been easily mistaken for a large training center in the United States, such as Gunsite, Blackwater. The Erbil Training Center (ETC) claims to be the largest training facility within Iraq, and autonomous Kurdistan (northern Iraq). ETC boosts numerous short and long distance ranges, a CQB maneuver house, rappel tower, in addition to a wide variety of other establishments and shooting facilities. The Center appears to be much more specialized within the PSD and special operations capacity training than strict infantry material, or what the majority of the Peshmerga is engaged in when it comes to fighting Daesh. Indeed, with previous videos of Kurdish “SF” groups, I can recognize some of the background at this facility.

    ETC – Erbil Training Center, is the only license Kurdish provider of tactical training solutions, for governmental units or private security companies. We believe that the right combination of training and support will enable security forces, governmental & private, to create and maintain safe environments for our nations to thrive in. As a result, we are committed to sharing best practices through cutting-edge training, complex program management, and logistic support.

    Our 63-acre training center, located 25 minutes south of Erbil, is the largest privately-owned training center in Kurdistan and Iraq. This training center boasts many training facilities, including classrooms and accommodations for over 40 personnel and other training support activity centers.

    ETC – Erbil Training Center offers also a variety of training options for civilians and individuals. Drawing on the same capabilities of our instructors that guide our government and corporate clients, ETC provides training programs for individuals that range from introductory firearms courses to defensive driving, close protection officer or/and private military contractor and all the individual courses are provided year-round at ETC training center.

    To build all of this, bring the actual experience levels of instructors (some I guarantee are Kurds from the UK/European armed forces that came back home), and even manage a large facility like this this requires a large amount of resources and pure financial backing. I would not at all be surprised if there was some Israeli support involved in this project, as Israel has been a very prominent and outspoken supporter of Kurdish independence efforts. Another very important note about the ETC is that the website is all in English, and not Kurmanji or Sorani dialects of the Kurdish language, although the video ends with a sentence in Sorani, in addition to a pamphlet about the center also in Sorani . This implies to me that the website is primarily for English speakers, or essentially the financial backers of the project (presumably Israeli, European or American), while the dissemination of the video is for actual Kurds, as a sort of display of Kurdish nationalism.

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    Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

    Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at [email protected]