BASRA, Iraq - After receiving a week of intense training at the Basra Operations Center from the 206th Military Police Company, attached to the 17th Fires Brigade, members of the Iraqi Emergency Response Battalion are better prepared to handle large-scale emergencies.

Soldiers of 2nd Squad, 3rd Platoon, 206th MP Co., attached to the 17th Fires Brigade, conducted a training session designed to increase tactical proficiency in the ERB's felony arrest procedures, search and seize raids and weapons accuracy.

"After discussing different strategies for handling large-scale emergencies with the Iraqis, we found that they had a good grasp of response procedures," said Steve Sperber, a U.S. State Department contractor and international police advisor.

The training consisted of classroom scenarios, practical exercises and a tactical pistol course.

"We all had different vantage points of each scenario which allowed us to thoroughly evaluate their techniques," said Cpl. Brian Walker, 206th MP Co., emergency responder and native of Loveland, Colo.

During the classroom sessions, Sperber and the platoon leaders met with the ERB personnel to evaluate the scenarios and map out the courses of action using a terrain model.

Capt. Kevin Manion, 206th MP Co. commander, planned and designed the course using the knowledge from his team's more than 75 years of combined civilian police experience.

The New York National Guard unit is made of members of city and state police and sheriff departments from across the state.

"The Iraqis are being trained through the eyes of police officers, so they're gaining years of experience and knowledge that only come from first-hand experience," said Manion.

Two 206th MP Co. Soldiers, Staff Sgt. Kent Theobald, a New York State Police investigator and native of Fort Johnson, N.Y., and Staff Sgt. Matthew Clark, a student from Hornell, N.Y., were in charge of training the Iraqis.

"Our goal was to instill the same sense of pride and professionalism in our Iraqi partners as we have in ourselves," Theobald said. "They picked up the training quickly, but what was most impressive was their eagerness to learn."

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