Military Police Soldiers provide on-the-job training for new Iraqi policemen
March 11, 2008
BAGHDAD, Iraq (Mar. 11, 2008) -- For the past month four 18th Military Police Brigade Soldiers have been living at the Jamia Iraqi Police Station and training the Iraqi Police force there.
The Iraqi police officers at the Jamia Police Station and Joint Security Station, former Sons of Iraq (Abna al-Iraq) members, are now conducting on-the-job training with the 401st Military Police Company Police Transition Team.
The OJT phase follows a two-week basic recruiting course the IP officers completed at the Camp Fiji and al Furat Police Training Academies here.
"The first class of about 60 recruits graduated from the course four weeks ago and are now running a fully operational IP station here," said Sgt. Joshua Holland, who serves as the PTT squad leader at the Jamia station.
Holland and his team of four MPs, an international police advisor and an interpreter have trained the entire Jamia IP force since arriving at the station. The Americans are now training a second class of IP officers who recently graduated from basic recruit training.
"We are still building the police force here. They are still learning, and they have shown us that they want to learn to help the security in Jamia, where most of them are from," said Holland.
The training team provides instruction to the Iraqis on weapons, first aid, personnel procedures, building and vehicle searches, reacting to direct and indirect fire, reacting to improvised explosive devices, entry control point operations, checkpoint operations and police values. Students review patrol operations before being sent out on actual neighborhood patrols.
The training includes hands-on and individual instruction. Holland said it is evident the Iraqi officers are extremely interested in the training by the numerous questions they ask during the training.
The goal of the OJT is to familiarize the new IP officers with the station at which they are working and prepare them to patrol the Jamia community.
"The two weeks of on-the-job training the Soldiers from the 401st MP Co. PTT are instructing is vital to the development of a fully capable IP (force)," said 18th MP Brigade spokesman Maj. Mike Indovina. "The OJT tasks the PTT Soldiers reinforce, with what the IP learned at the academy, increases the IPs' confidence before going out and performing their community policing duties."
Since the station became operational, the first group of IP officers has been actively patrolling Jamia with the PTT and Soldiers from Company B, 1st Battalion, 64th Armor.
"The citizens of Jamia are glad the IP are active in the neighborhood," said Holland, and have voluntarily helped the Iraqi policemen fight extremists in the area.
The training has improved, Holland added, thanks to the IP leadership at the station and the training academy.
"When the IP leadership is good, it makes my job a lot easier," he said. "They enforce discipline and uniform standards on the Iraqi Police."
When the second week of training is complete, the station will have more than 150 fully trained IP officers to police the Jamia community.
The 18th MP Brigade is a U.S. Army Europe unit headquartered in Mannheim, Germany, that is currently deployed supporting Multi-National Division - Baghdad.