BAGHDAD - Playing with video game remote controls that power motorized robots may seem like a fun way to start the day.

For ten Iraqi National Police officers, this arcade experience is a critical part of training at a new engineer training academy at Camp Liberty, Iraq.

Members of 1st Mechanized Brigade, 2nd National Police wrapped up three days of training on clearing routes of improvised explosive devices, medical operations, and robotics at the Task Force Iron Claw Academy, 24 June.

The class, sponsored by the 225th Engineer Brigade, is the first time Iraqi National
Police learned important engineer tactics at the academy.

Staff Sgt. Joseph Ray, Baton Rouge,La., an instructor at the academy, said the NP officers were very attentive because of what is at stake for Iraq's future- security.

"The National Police conduct route clearance operations now. They see the threats now," said Ray. "They will be able to take this experience back to their units and run their operations more effectively."

Ray said the robotics portion of the training may have been a popular way to end the course, but his students understood the serious nature of using robots to track down killer IEDs.

"They can stand up on their own and perform independent security missions," Ray said.

Iraqi Maj. Hussein, commander of the 1st Mech. Bde., 2nd NP agreed. Hussein said the Iraqi National Police appreciate this training because they are a visible force that provides security for the Iraqi people and for themselves.

"Now it gives us a lot of responsibility," Hussein said. "We have to prove our capability to protect the Iraqi population."

Hussein is also very cognizant of the June 30 deadline for Coalition combat forces to leave the major cities. He said engineer training will give his officers added confidence and give the people of Iraq a sense of comfort.

"This is a historic event," said Hussein. "The Iraqi people are confident in our ability to provide security. We are ready for the transition."

At the end of the course, each NP officer received a certificate of course completion and congratulations from the commander of the 225th Eng. Bde., Brig. Gen.
Owen Monconduit.

"Look to the left and right of you. You see a more capable National Police through a strong partnership," said Monconduit in his speech to the graduates. "We look forward to more training as you improve your skills ... and strengthen your capabilities to further protect the people of Iraq."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16