By By 2nd Lt. Joseph Dennis 4th SBCT, 2nd Inf. Div., USD-CJuly 1, 2010
TARMIYAH, Iraq -- With a bang and a door bursting open, Iraqi policemen kicked off an urban assault exercise at the Tarmiyah Iraqi Police station June 26.
They conducted the training under the watchful eye of 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division and an Iraqi Police advisory team from Tarmiyah.
"Great job, but remember to bend from your knees, not from your waist," said Staff Sgt. Anthony Lovell, a member of Troop B, and a Constantinople, Ariz., native, as he analyzed their form.
Lovell, along with Spc. Tony Hand and Spc. Christopher Nollenberg, both in Troop C and from Evansville, Ind. and Neenah, Wisc., respectively, are cavalry scouts, but since April they have spent much of their time assisting the advisory team.
"These Soldiers from (2nd Sqdn.) are among the best I've ever worked with," said Tim Strickland, a 20-year police veteran from the Atlanta area and leader of the IPA team. "I'm very happy with how they've performed so far."
After their initial training, the rigors of their job and manpower shortages have left little time for Iraqi policemen to break away for more schooling, so they rarely receive additional or refresher classes. As a result, IPA teams work with the Iraqi Police at each station with the goal of creating a solid foundation of trainers among them.
Currently, every IP station in the area has officers designated as field training officers with the responsibility to train the other policemen at the station when they are not out on patrol.
The IPA teams teach these training officers fundamental police skills as well as techniques for passing the knowledge to their counterparts, so when U.S. forces and the IPA teams leave the area later this year, their skills will not leave with them.
Before they redeploy, the 2nd Sqdn. troopers and their IPA counterparts will have two trained field training officers at each of the three police stations in the squadron's area of responsibility, allowing every Iraqi policeman an opportunity to receive continuous training, regardless of which shift they patrol or checkpoint they occupy.
The Iraqis and Americans shook hands, exchanged some jokes and took a few pictures to show their family and friends as the training wrapped up at the end of the day. The Soldiers-turned-police trainers planned for another trip to another police station the next day.