NUMANIYAH, Iraq - More than 100 miles of desert were crossed before the 5th Brigade, 2nd Iraqi National Police Division, and their transition team counterparts made it to their destination.

Policemen and Soldiers arrived to the Numaniyah National Police Academy to begin a month-long rotation through a program designed to provide specialized training and professional development to the Iraqi policemen.

More than 50 vehicles were needed to transport just a portion of the brigade from its home in Central Baghdad to the facility about 100 miles southeast of the capital.

As soon as the policemen arrived, the training began. Bags were searched for contraband like alcohol, cell phones and radios before the policemen were allowed to move on to billeting where they found their beds for the night.

For many of the policemen, this was the first time they'd ever been through a strict program of training. While at the academy, they will be given blocks of instruction on core values and ethics, tactical procedures and several other topics specially tailored to fit the needs of police who work the streets of Baghdad and other areas in Iraq.

"We have to're-blue' the police force," said Julian Jones, project manager at the academy.

That means that due to the dual role of the policemen they have to take a different approach to training and re-fit the policemen to a more police-like role rather than an Army-like role, Jones said.

He said that much of the classroom time involved in the program is designed to look into the future of police operations in Iraq when the police will be required to focus more on evidence collection and processing criminals through the judiciary system.

One of the main objectives for the commander of the brigade, Brig. Gen. Baha, is to stand up a previously non-existent noncommissioned officer corps capable of sustaining itself.

One of the ways the transition team leaders said it can happen is leading by example.

Maj. Scott Koast, the transition team's officer in charge of training, said that the policemen look up to the team and try their best to replicate what they do in certain situations.

More than 50 Soldiers from the battalion-level teams and the headquarters element of the 5-2 National Police Transition Team are charged with the training of the tactical elements of the program.

The sprawling compound just outside the city limits holds dozens of buildings to replicate an urban terrain much like what the police face in central Baghdad. While most of the tactical training is handled by the NPTTs, the classroom training is handled by an Australian-based company composed of former military and law-enforcement officials.

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