Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq - Law Enforcement Professionals, Civilian Police Advisors, Judge Advocates, Stability Transition Teams, and members of the Provincial Reconstruction Teams from Task Force Marne units met at Contingency Operating Base Speicher for a Rule of Law conference, Sept. 23, to discuss the way forward for U.S. and Iraqi Security Forces as the U.S. conducts stability operations in support of the ISF.
The conference focused on the transition to police primacy, which would give them the lead for security in the cities so that the Iraqi Army can focus on external defense.
The conference was opened by the Commanding General of TF Marne, Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo, and the TF Marne Chief of Intelligence, Lt. Col. Michael Marti, with a short briefing on the complexities of the demographics and security of northern Iraq.
Northern Iraq is a very religiously diverse and complicated area, said Maj. Gen. Cucolo. Islam is the dominant religion, but there are small groupings of other religions scattered throughout. The area also has one thing that no other region has, the Disputed Internal Boundary area, which adds many additional layers of complexity to the security situation, he added.
The Transition of Responsibility for Internal Security to Police, or TRISP, focuses on police assuming the lead for security in the cities. This is a necessity for the security of Iraq, and will free the Iraqi Army to focus on the external defense of the county, said Lt. Col. Paul Heinlein, the TF Marne Provost Marshal.
"In many areas we still have the Iraqi Army controlling security in certain cities within U.S. Division-North," said Lt. Col. Heinlein, a Manchester, N.H., native. "Eventually we need the Iraqi Army to transition to being prepared for and capable of external defense of the country. At the same time they will need to be ready to support police forces in internal defense as needed."
Training of the Iraqi Police is a key factor in the transition of the police assuming the lead for internal security. A few of the primary areas of training are investigative capabilities and working with the judiciary portion of the legal system.
"The police training piece of rule of law is a very important piece," said Col. Jon Guden, the Staff Judge Advocate for TF Marne and a Chippewa Falls, Wis., native. "We put a lot of focus on that with our police training teams. We have to keep the police training linked up with what we are doing with the judges.
"The investigative judges work heavily with the police to develop the facts, and collect statements and evidence. Improving the relationships between the police and investigative judges is one of the things we are trying to work on here," he added.
The ITAM-Police is in charge of that training for the Iraqi Police. They focus on making sure the Iraqi Police are receiving the proper institutional training and equipment.
"ITAM-Police focuses on the institutional side of the Iraqi Police forces," Lt. Col. Heinlein said. "They are the equivalent of the [U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command] for the Iraqi Police. They are focused on building the infrastructure, such as training academies; building the training programs of instruction; and establishing the training so that the Iraqis can then have the facilities and equipment to train themselves."
The ITAM-Police also makes sure that the Iraqis have the necessary equipment to conduct their mission, he added.
For Lt. Col. Heinlein, the conference was a success and accomplished the mission of bringing everyone together in an open forum to discuss the current situation with the training of the Iraqi Police.
"I think the conference was successful in allowing all the brigades to hear the information from the division and ITAM-Police," said Lt. Col. Heinlein. "They had the opportunity to ask questions and address their concerns with guidance coming down from higher levels. It also gave them a chance to interact with their counterparts from the other brigades, even those that they may not normally have contact with."