BAGHDAD -- With the mission in Iraq transitioning from combat operations to sustainment operations, leaders must adapt to the changing mission and ensure their Soldiers are ready.

Soldiers and leaders are taking advantage of this period to conduct training and also get mission transition time for their Soldiers.

One squad of Soldiers from Dickson, Tennessee's, 267th Military Police Company, 93rd Military Police Battalion, 8th Military Police Brigade, Multi-National Division - Baghdad, used their time out of the Iraqi cities to conduct a training class on photography and photo editing.

Bristol, Tenn. native Maj. Jeff Parker, Public Affairs Officer for the 8th MP Brigade taught Soldiers the basics in photography.

"As the brigade PAO, I rely heavily on the 5,000-plus Soldiers in this brigade to help tell the Soldiers' story," Parker said. "Not only are these classes enthusiastically received, but many Soldiers have discovered a talent they never knew they had. 'Seeing the Soldier's empowered like that, I feel it's definitely time well spent."

Soldiers from the Minden, Louisiana-based, 39th Military Police Company, 91st Military Police Battalion, 8th Military Police Brigade, were hard at work ensuring Soldiers got their fill of training. Noncommissioned officers have been conducting refresher training for their Soldiers in weapons training, the law of armed conflict principles, and rules of engagement.

Some Soldiers were able to take time out of their schedules to wind down and participate in a basketball game. The Soldiers of the Brigade staff traded their lunch break to battle it out for bragging rights at the division field house.

"It has been several years since we, coalition forces and Iraqis, have experienced this significant of a milestone," said Parker of the move from the cities and transition to a new mission which began nearly two weeks ago. "It's still uncertain at times, but the Iraqis know they are capable and it's their time to bring prosperity back to their country."

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