CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq - Seven Iraqi police officers jumped out of UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters and hit the dirt at Camp Cedar's landing zone during an air assault training exercise here March 2.

"I am very happy," said Maj. Gen. Sabah, Dhi Qar's Iraqi Provincial Chief of Police. "With this training from the Coalition Forces, my men are going to be able to use the air as well as the ground to go after the terrorists and arrest them. Without this we would not be as knowledgeable and trained as we are now."

The Dhi Qar Province's 5th Tactical Security Unit of the Iraqi Police partnered with the 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, "Thunder Horse" Battalion, to conduct this joint training.

During the exercise, the IP's secured four buildings and detained three suspected criminals after exiting the helicopters. The TSU also found a weapons cache, important documents and treated one injured Iraqi.

"We are always trying to increase their abilities to plan and conduct missions," said Capt. Christopher Kelshaw, a Thunder Horse company commander. "They met all of our goals, but we will still train them to an even higher standard of tactical operations."

This training demonstrated the TSU's abilities to issue warrants according to Iraqi law, develop target packets for high-value individuals and conduct air assault missions Kelshaw, from Wharton, N.J., explained.

"It shows the Iraqi Security Forces are one step closer to becoming independent," said Kelshaw, a two-time combat veteran with 14 years of military service. "Little by little we are taking less of a direct role in this effort."

The Thunder Horse battalion is planning similar training missions in the future to help develop the TSU's ability to utilize military aircraft on the battlefield.