FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Fort Jackson leaders invited a delegation of Iraqi police leaders in December to observe and learn how the Directorate of Emergency Services operates.

The delegation, which included two brigadier generals and two officers - one of whom is Iraq's first female police officer - visited the installation Dec. 16 as part of a larger trip to spend time with the Richland County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Leon Lott went to Iraq in July to help train Iraqi police officers and in return invited police officials to visit South Carolina.

"Richland County Sheriff's Department sponsored the delegation to demonstrate how civilian law enforcement operations were conducted in the United States," said Patrick O'Connor, DES deputy director. "Richland County asked Fort Jackson DES to provide the delegation an overview of how the U.S. military conducted law enforcement operations to compare and contrast the operations."

During their time at Fort Jackson, the Iraqi police leaders attended a Basic Combat Training graduation ceremony, toured DES facilities, observed a K-9 demonstration, were given a shoot or don't shoot presentation at EST 2000 and met with the installation's Special Reaction Team.

"It is an honor for us to be here," Brig. Gen. Nawad Ganjo Ahmad, assistant director of the Erbil College of Police in Kurdistan, Iraq, said through an interpreter. "I learned a lot from the graduation ceremony. We will try to adapt the graduation ceremony for our police academy."

Before the facilities tour, the Iraqi police leaders were given a briefing on police operations, traffic accident investigations, military police investigations, fire department operations and military working dogs.

Ahmad, who said the Iraqi police are interested in using the help of canines, questioned through an interpreter how long a military working dog can be used and what happens to the dogs when they are retired from service.

"Dogs can work from anywhere between a couple of years to 11 years," said Sgt. 1st Class Ted Perry, K-9 Kennel master. "It just depends on the dog. When they are done working, we attempt to adopt them out to a good home."

Lott was initially invited to Iraq to assist the Erbil College of Police with providing input on how female officers can be integrated into their operations.

Lt. Hataw Fouad Ahmed, head of Female Training and Iraq's first female police officer, was part of the group who visited Fort Jackson.

"I am very proud to be the first female. I am very proud of that," Ahmed said. "It was kind of difficult being the first female, but if you like something, you do it."
The Iraqi delegation's visit ended with an overview provided by Col. Ronald Taylor, provost marshal.

"While their time with DES was brief, it was interesting to see that the delegation brought a female officer with them and she was given input into the conversation," O'Connor said. "Overall, they were pleased with what they saw, and DES was happy to partner with our civilian counterparts to ensure a successful visit."