By Army Sgt. 1st Class Joe Thompson
Special to American Forces Press Service
July 24, 2009 - National police in Iraq's Wasit province now are capable of sustaining their own training needs after coalition forces leave here, military officials said, thanks to the efforts of a Massachusetts National Guard police company. The 772nd Military Police Company, attached to the 41st Fires Brigade, worked with Iraqi police advisor teams to establish a mobile police training team. The team will serve at the police's provincial headquarters and Iraqi police stations in the province along the Iranian border, as well as train other police trainers to train their own.
"It's most important to me to let the world know that with the support of coalition forces, the 41st Fires Brigade, 772nd [Military Police] Company and the Iraqi police training teams, the creation of this mobile training team not only readies the progress for the future, but we are ready to stand by and stop any kind of enemy," said Capt. Hayder Adnan Ali, the Iraqi police liaison to coalition forces. "When you get good training and good policemen, you can fight the enemy and protect your community."
The focus at the provincial headquarters was firearms training, and instructors there said they know the importance of quality training.
"I like to teach my training ideas and training goals to the students because I know that when I stand and fight against terrorism and any enemy against our country or while protecting all our communities, buildings and people's lives, these recruits will be standing beside me, and I will know that they have been trained right," said Sgt. Hayder Sahib Silan, Iraqi police instructor in Wasit.
"This is the first province in Iraq to have this mobile training team," Silan said. "The other provinces rely on their academies and the coalition-led police training teams. But here in Wasit, we have the first independent, fully trained Iraqi mobile training team responsible for professional development and training of the Iraqi police."
The mobile training team also ensures the police will be able to conduct training, even when they can't afford to send new recruits to the police academy.
"Sometimes we don't have the time to send them to the academy or we don't have the budget to house, feed and put electricity in the academy," Silan said. "The mobile team can go out to all the units anytime. They are ready to go and train."
The curriculum for the training was developed by coalition forces and the Iraqi Interior Ministry and combined into a simple, comprehensive training plan encompassing both basic and advanced police training.
"This program has been a complete success with the collaboration of the [Iraqi police], [Iraqi police advisors] and [military police]," said Army Staff Sgt. Elton Dean, headquarters squad leader, 772nd Military Police Company. "We are looking to add more police mobile training teams in each district to ensure adequate instructors for the whole province.
"Every time we visit the instructors and trainees, you can tell they are putting the lessons they learned in the instructor course to use," Dean continued. "It is apparent in the way they conduct the classes, how professional they look and how the students improve week to week."
The mobile training team is made up of seven instructors and three officers who handle the administration and mentorship responsibilities. The 772nd will continue to partner with the Iraqi police in Wasit until the unit redeploys, which is scheduled for October.