BAGHDAD, Iraq - Travel down any major road in Baghdad these days and it will be hard to not encounter at least one security check point, formally known as a traffic control point. As a part of the gradual draw down of United States Forces in Iraq, the Iraqi Army and police have taken over responsibility for security operations and one of many functions that ensures the security of the Iraqi people are these traffic control points along the roads.

On Monday May 2, 2011, Soldiers from Bandit Troop, 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, United States Division - Center reached out to their Iraqi partners, the 1st Mechanized Brigade, 4th Federal Police Division, and provided a training program to help them improve their traffic control point operations.

Currently, the 1st Mech. Bde. is responsible for many traffic control points along one of the busiest roads in Baghdad.

"Given that they do TCPs a lot already, this training gave us a chance to share our ideas and show them different techniques to do their job more effectively," said Staff Sgt. Jason Beaudre of Bandit Troop, 6th Sqdn., 9th Cav. Regt. 2nd AAB, 1st Inf. Div., USD-C, and a Columbia, S.C. native,

The training program began in the morning with the Bandit Troop Soldiers and 1st Mech. Bde. going over basic traffic control operations in a classroom setting. In the afternoon, the training shifted outdoors where the soldiers went through practical exercises conducting personnel and vehicle inspections under different conditions.

"The training program went extremely well. They caught on very quickly, were eager to learn what we were teaching them, and stayed actively engaged the entire time," said Staff Sgt. Cedric Wilson of Bandit Troop, 6th Sqdn., 9th Cav. Regt. 2nd AAB, 1st Inf. Div., USD-C, and a Leesville, La. native.

It was evident that the Iraqi Soldiers had not seen some of the techniques and tasks that they were being taught throughout the training. However, by the end of the practical exercise they were able to effectively conduct personnel and vehicle inspections and understood the reasoning behind the way we taught them how to conduct the inspections.

"I believe they are much better equipped to run a successful TCP now because of how well they performed these security operations during the training," said Staff Sgt. Wilson.