U.S. military police unit trains IA police unit for first time
October 26, 2009
FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARRIOR, KIRKUK, Iraq - The training of Iraqi Police has been one of the most important missions for the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, since the unit deployed to Kirkuk province. Currently, the Iraqi Police share responsibility for security in many parts of the province with the 12th Iraqi Army Division, who has organic military police assigned to its ranks.
At the request of the 2nd BCT, the 218th MP Company from Fort Campbell, Ky. began training 12th IA MPs at K1 military base in Kirkuk province, Iraq, Oct. 13.
According to Capt. Early Howard, a Montgomery, Ala. native and commander of the 218th MP Co., his unit was already partnered with the IP in Kirkuk, but 2nd BCT wanted the 218th MPs to establish a relationship with the 12th IA MPs.
"We are here to help make sure the IA MPs are prepared for future operations," Howard explained. "This is the first time we have partnered with them."
The day's training began with basics, a round-robin of events consisting of three training stations.
The first station was led by Staff Sgt. Monnet Bushner, a medic originally from Nassau, Bahamas, but who now calls Humble, Texas home.
"I'm teaching the IA MPs how to evaluate a casualty and conduct casualty evacuation," Bushner said. "This involves manual carries and evacuating casualties by improvising items to be used as stretchers."
Bushner explained the training done at his station will be useful when an officer is injured and needs to be taken to safety.
"In a situation where one gets injured, like during a riot or crowd control, they need to know how to get them out," Bushner said. "This will help give them the best chances of survival should something happen."
Following instruction on the fireman's carry and other manual evacuation techniques, several IA MPs practiced using their uniform tops to make stretchers and pick each other up.
The second station was taught by Pvt. Keith O'Connell, from Lawler, Iowa, also a medic with 218th MP Co. O'Connell gave classes on applying tourniquets, emergency trauma bandages, abdominal bandages and splints.
"This training will help them. Should they see combat, they will know how to effectively treat wounds," O'Connell said.
Sgt. Chris Murdoch, an MP from Niantic, Conn., taught students how to respond to civil disturbances at the third station.
"I'm going to go over basic tasks," Murdoch said, "from the different formations used during crowd control, equipment used-like the shield and baton-and how to move toward a crowd."
Murdoch said following training, the IA MPs will be able to use the baton, display proper crowd control formations, use the shields for defensive purposes, know where not to strike an individual with a baton, and work as a team.
Spc. Jaber Abdullhur Thamer, who has been in the IA for nearly two years, hadn't seen this kind of training before.
"This is the first time I have received this type of medical training," he said. "I have learned a lot and believe it could help to save my life or a friend's life one day, and U.S. forces were extremely helpful during the learning process."
And while this was not the first time 2nd Lt. Ali Mahdi Ibrahim, an IA MP platoon leader, had this training, it was a welcome sight.
"Any training, even if it has been done before, is useful, because more training equates to a higher proficiency," Ali said. "This type of training is what I want for my soldiers."
Ali explained this training is helpful, not only for crowd control purposes, but because his soldiers also perform duties similar to U.S. MPs - enforcing standards and ensuring discipline on the base and sometimes outside the base.
Ali also said his Soldiers were performing very well and obtained skills that could one day be useful as civilian law enforcement officers.
For Howard, the partnership will continue to grow, with more training lessons already scheduled.
"We plan on partnering with them at least three times a week, with the level of training increasing in difficulty and varying tasks as time goes on," Howard explained.
Howard also said this partnership with the IA will not hinder the existing relationship between his unit and the IP, which continues to thrive.