CAMP MEJID, Iraq (Army News Service, Dec. 28, 2009) -- Some 25 Iraq soldiers learned to set up and operate traffic control points, or TCPs, in preparation for the upcoming Iraqi national elections.

In a 10-day course taught by advise and assist Army engineers here, the junior officers and soldiers from the 7th Iraqi Army Division were trained on TCPs by engineers from Company A, 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division (Advise and Assist Brigade), with the intent of returning to their units and teaching others.

The class focused on the principles of traffic control operations and included site selection, design, materials calculation, and function, said Staff Sgt. Christopher Polk, senior construction equipment supervisor.

Several students stationed here were so eager to use what they learned that, before the class concluded, they were teaching their own soldiers at night, said Polk.

The 7th Iraqi Army Division is responsible for securing the travel routes across Al Anbar province between Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

Aca,!A"The need to have effective vehicle search capability is key to sustaining a safe flow of commerce and personnel from the border into the heart of Iraq,Aca,!A? said Polk.

The training came at the request of the 7th IA Division Commander, said Polk, who added that it has been interactive with the training tailored to the situations the Iraqi soldiers face on a day-to-day basis at their checkpoints.

The American and 7th IA engineers are planning to upgrade two of the top seven priority TCPs as defined by the 7th IA Division Commander. During the upgrades, the Iraqis will lead the planning, resourcing, and execution with the Americans playing only an advise and assist role.

(Capt. Kurt Zortman serves with 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division (Advise and Assist).