BAGHDAD - The minister of Interior, partnering with NATO Training Mission-Iraq has started a new program to train Iraq's oil police.

The development of a highly-skilled police force to protect Iraq's oil infrastructure is vital to ensuring Iraq's economic security.

"This is an important program for both Iraq and NATO," said Lt. Gen. Michael D. Barbero, deputy commanding general for Advising and Training, United States Forces-Iraq and commander of NTM-I. "For Iraq, this training program will greatly increase the skills and capabilities of the Oil Police who secure Iraq's critical oil infrastructure. And, this new mission for the NATO Training Mission in Iraq clearly demonstrates NATO's strong commitment to the development of Iraqi Security Forces."

These students will undergo a six-week basic course taught by Italian Carabinieri that expands upon the current NATO Training Mission-Iraq Federal Police Training Program. The top 25 graduates of this course will then attend a four-week train-the-trainer course and become certified Oil Police instructors to sustain the training for future classes of Oil Police training.

Each class will consist of 50 Shurtas, 50 noncommissioned officers and 25 officers.

Additionally, nine more courses are planned between now and December 2011. During this time, the program is expected to develop more than 1,100 Oil Police and some 225 instructors. The instructor training builds enduring, self-sustaining Iraqi capabilities to train Oil Police.

This effort is another example of how United States Forces-Iraq and the NATO Training Mission-Iraq are continuing to assist Iraqi Security Forces in building and sustaining security forces well beyond December 2011.

Page last updated Tue October 26th, 2010 at 06:38