By Capt. Hans G. Valverde, 3d Bn., 8th Cav. Regt., 3rd AAB, 1st Cav. Div.April 13, 2011
CONTINGENCY OPERATING STATION GARRY OWEN, Iraq - Over 50 members of the Iraqi Police (IP) Emergency Response Unit in Maysan Province are now better prepared to react to riots and organized protests after receiving riot-control training by the "Warhorse" troopers of 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division.
The Riot-Control Training Course is focused toward enhancing the Iraq Police and Emergency Response Unit basics of civil disorder management as it pertains to frontline personnel.
Its emphasis is geared toward hands-on defensive tactics, group arrests, and team movements with riot-control gear. The Maysan Provincial Chief of Police, Gen. Ishmael, wanted to enhance his unit's ability to control civil disorder.
The riot-control training, organized by "Warhorse" Battalion's Bulldog Company Civilian Police Tactical Trainers, focuses on various techniques on how to disarm an opponent, arrest an aggressive person, and neutralize the leader/instigator by removing him from the group. The Iraqi Police also learn and rehearse movement formations designed to safely approach a disorderly crowd and enforce order.
This training was a first for many of the Iraqi Police.
"I really enjoy working with and training the local police. They are interested in all the training they receive. Very focused." said 1st Lt. Greg Lee, Bulldog Company's Military Police platoon leader.
"This is great training," said Capt. Talib, one of the officers in charge of the IPs at the training. "This gives my policemen a chance to work with the U.S., to make the Iraqi Police even stronger."
After mastering basic baton skills, they begin to practice working as a single unit, much like a riot control officer would.
"It's essential to know this non-lethal skill," said 1st Lt. Muhammad, one of the IP officers conducting the training. "IPs are supposed to know how to non-lethally control and manage a hostile crowd such as a riot or organized protest."
They then practice stacking formations and wielding batons so as not to hit the Shurta (policeman) next to them. This team-building practical exercise helps them transition easily into the next phase of training with riot shields. Dressed in riot-control equipment, members of the military police platoon show the IPs ways to divert and stop a crowd using their shields. "My favorite part of the training was using the shields," said Talib.
Each class ends with a culminating practical exercise demonstration of how to use the techniques and commands they have trained on against a resistance. MP's played the role of a hostile crowd, dashing at the wall of shields, trying to break through the Iraqi Police formation.
"Everything I learned in this course was new and extremely necessary," said Muhammed. "I've never received any of this training before and now I am very proud to be part of this group."