By Staff Sgt. Mark Burrell , MND-B PAOMay 28, 2009
BAGHDAD - After completing an AK-47 rifle and Glock pistol firing range at Joint Security Station Shuleik here, twenty-one Iraqi Police officers from the al-Qahira IP Station graduated from an Iraqi Primary Leadership Development Course (IPLDC), May 21.
The firing range was the culminating event for the 5-day course organized by Soldiers of the 300th Military Police Company, 91st MP Battalion, 8th MP Brigade.
"Usually I'd be proud of my Soldiers, but today I'm proud of them [Iraqis]," said police transition team chief, Sgt. Brandon Roque, assigned to the 300th MP Co.
Eighty IPs have graduated this course since November, 2008. This was the fourth rotation of IPLDC and the first one run by the Iraqi Police with minimal Coalition force guidance, added Roque, a San Diego native.
The 300th MP Co. Soldiers and IP leadership indentified key critical tasks, came up with classes together, rehearsed the classes together and put out instruction on the classes, continued Roque.
The 5-day course included classes on Iraqi law, personnel searches, leadership, discipline and the firing range.
"We've had this instruction from our brothers, the MPs, and we have to keep up this training and become more proficient in it," said Iraqi Police Capt. Hussein Howaish Salume, the training officer for Adamiyah IP Station. "The training lectures such as raids, patrols, searches, investigations and detainee operations were very good."
Though the MPs were in an advisory role, they noticed a significant difference from the beginning of the course to the end.
"They can definitely hit the targets," said Cpl. Brian Stock, a team leader from Martins Ferry, Ohio, assigned to the 300th MP Co. "When we first started doing this, the IPs were nervous and shooting the ground. Now they're on target and have really shown improvements...it shows they're really paying attention."
According to Hussein, the skills the IP commissioners and officers acquired during the IPLDC will be passed on to their fellow policemen at their IP station.
"We're here to ensure Iraqi Police leaders know how to lead IPs," said Roque. "We want to try to influence IPs down to the lowest levels."
"Before, some of the IPs didn't know basic tactics and goals," said Hussein. "Now they will be motivated and ready to do their jobs like professionals."
"I think it was very successful," added Hussein. "All the success belongs to our friendship with Coalition forces...they have a big heart."
After the graduation certificates were handed out, the 300th MP Co. Soldiers congratulated the new graduates.
"We're not just friends, we're family," said 1st Lt. Chris Parker, a platoon leader from Lansing, Kan., assigned to the 300th MP Co. "I have faith that [the IPs] can police Adamiyah successfully."
According to Roque, the next IPLDC will be held next month.