By 2nd Lt. Jeff Orban, 3BCT, 1st Cavalry Division Public AffairsJuly 27, 2009
MOSUL, Iraq - U.S. military advisors to the Iraqi Federal Police are teaching their Iraqi counter parts time tested US tactics, techniques, and procedures as the FP are now actively in the lead in securing west Mosul. The 3rd Federal Police Division Transition Team assisted in the creation of a Combined Operations Center which is now the focus of the transition team's means to support and advise the FP.
"Not being in the city with them doesn't necessarily mean that we've stopped working with them altogether. We are now able to focus our efforts on the operations center, logistics, all the behind the scene things that we take for granted that our army does now, we are able to provide for them," said Sgt. 1st Class Gene Harding with the 3rd Division Federal Police Transition Team.
The FPTT now aids in the planning of the FP's mission, while the Iraqis go out on missions independently and apply the principles that the FPTT has been teaching them for nearly a year. When the FP return from their missions the FPTT can conduct an after action review and steadily improve on each mission.
According to Harding the operations center has allowed them to come full circle as advisors.
"Now our success is being measured in how well we have taught them and how well they can go complete the task on their own," said Harding. "Now the training wheels are off, they are going to wobble a little bit and they may fall down, but we are still there to pick them back up and tell them itd's ok, before they go off and do it again."
The FPTT mission has been to aid in the training and operations of the FP. Prior to the security agreement the FPTT would jointly conduct patrols, raids, and traffic control points among other missions with their FPs.
"The purpose of the COC is to plan and conduct operations in the city of Mosul and to be more proficient in their day to day tasks including reporting, planning and overall security within the city," said Harding.
According to Harding his team noticed the need for an ops center almost as soon as they got to Mosul.
"As advisors we noticed that they were pretty much working out of their bedrooms they really didn't have an office to work out of," said Harding.
Realizing this, the FPTT began to find space to place a new operations center. They worked with the Iraqi commanding general and were able to obtain a building. The COC was slowly built from the ground up. Once the COC was complete the FPTT began working on the FP's ability to plan their operations.
The FPTT worked diligently with the FPs to plan for more than just a couple of hours out, which they were known to do said Harding.
The FP has gone from 24 hour planning to 48 and 72 hour planning.
"They no longer throw a dart at a board and see what neighborhood it lands on to conduct their missions," Harding said jokingly. "They are now collecting valuable intelligence on where they need to be conducting operations, much to the effort of the military advisors of the FPTT."