GREYWOLF transition teams prepare to hand over responsibility to U.S. Department of State
July 8, 2011
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE BASRAH, Iraq - The camel-like silhouettes of United States Forces-Iraq Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicles disappear on the horizon as a new dawn comes to Iraq.
Stability transition teams across the Iraqi provinces are transitioning their duties to the U.S. Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) teams, while the U.S. military prepares for re-posturing of personnel.
STT Enforcer and INL personnel have already started what the military calls the 'right-seat ride' where the STT continues daily operations and the INL shadows them as missions are executed. The INL teams are meeting with their Iraqi counterparts and receiving initial training from officers on their individual duties.
Key to a successful transition is the STT's ability to provide a solid understanding of the nuances of organizational structure, cultural dichotomies and relational networks. Lt. Col. Gregory Stokes, STT Enforcer commander, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cav. Division said, "With a two-phase approach to the transition and 90 days to accomplish it, we expect to have a seamless transition."
The first phase of the transition involves training the INL team on concepts for growing and tracking real progress such as the Lines of Effort concept that STT Enforcer applied to the Provincial Department of Police and the National Intelligence and Information Agency, a force of more than 23,000 personnel.
The second phase is the 'left-seat ride' where the INL takes the lead and the STT shadows their work, providing assistance when needed. This consists of 60 days of key instruction with police personnel and Iraqi leader engagements, and STT Enforcer in support.
"Phase II ensures INL personnel maintain progress, improve their relationships, and encourage their Iraqi counterparts to work with them in their new roles." Stokes said. INL will assume full responsibility as of October 1, with STT Enforcer providing indirect support until relieved.
As military bases close, and the American flag is seen less and less on the Iraqi horizon, the Department of State will usher in another new dawn of progress for Iraq.