BAGHDAD - Clearing a room is a vital skill to have in urban combat. The chaos that can erupt in a small, enclosed space can be deadly. Being able to effectively apply this tactic to real world situations can mean the difference between life and death.

Iraqi Federal Police of 2nd Battalion, 1st FP Brigade, exercised their room clearing techniques, here, at Joint Security Station Istaqlal, Oct. 19, under the watchful eyes of Soldiers of 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.

"The training we're conducting today is room clearing procedures ... the basic four-man stack on the wall," said Staff Sgt. Jonathan Esposito, from San Jose, Calif. "We're focusing on entering one room, clearing it of any enemy and making sure that it's safe."

A four-man stack is a team of Soldiers equipped and trained to enter a room and clear it of an enemy threat.

The FPs listened intently to a classroom instruction and asked questions when they didn't understand something. They were taught how to enter various types of rooms and techniques associated with each type of room.

After the classroom portion they proceeded to "glass houses", mock rooms outlined with white engineer tape, where they put their skills to the test.

"They get really motivated when they actually get to try out the glass house," said Esposito. "The more of the FPs that are out there watching, the more motivated these guys get."

The FPs stormed the training rooms with gusto, reflecting their training.

"Sometimes they're a little rusty at first," Esposito explained, "but by the end, everybody's really training hard and they do really take something away from it."

Training with the Cav Soldiers is getting the FPs to an essential level of readiness that will enable them to more effectively do their jobs, according to Esposito.

"It's going to allow them to integrate with [U.S.] forces and as we move out they're going to be able to duplicate what we've taught them," he said. "It will make them a more lethal force when dealing with insurgents."

As U.S. forces continue to draw down in preparation to hand over all security responsibilities to the Iraqis, the burden will fall squarely on competent shoulders, thanks to the training that the Iraqi Security Forces are receiving from their American partners.

Page last updated Wed October 21st, 2009 at 15:13