War on Terrorism

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Last Air Force police transition team completes mission

by Staff Sgt. Sanjay Allen
Air Component Coordination Element-Iraq Public Affairs

7/29/2010 - CAMP STRYKER, Iraq (AFNS) -- The final Air Force police transition team in Iraq completed its mission July 26 as Iraqi police officials have reached a self-sustaining level.

In a ceremony here, 732nd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, Det. 2 officials transferred authority to officials from the Army's 94th Military Police Company, who will be taking over in an advise and assist role with the Iraqi police.

"We're officially the final Air Force police transition team in Iraq," said Maj. David Lederer, the Det. 2 commander.

The Airmen of Det. 2 were tasked with training Iraqi police officials in general police tactics and techniques, and they assisted the local Iraqi police with community policing, cordon and search, weapons cache searches, weapons training, and humanitarian missions.

The detachment also conducted missions supporting the investigative task force and exploitation task force, assisting Iraqi police officials with investigations of improvised explosive devices, vehicle-borne IEDs, explosions, murders and assassinations in the greater Baghdad area.

"You can measure your success in the proficiency of the men and women you train, and by a heightened public confidence in Iraqi police (officials) across Baghdad," said Lt. Col. Dustin Sutton, the 732nd ESFS commander.

Colonel Sutton said he used the March 7 elections as an example of Det. 2's success in training Iraqi police officials.

He said the world watched and waited to see if the elections would be successful.

"Significant events in your (area of responsibility) were lower than any area in Baghdad province," Colonel Sutton said. "Large scale and complex attacks were minimized and defeated through an Iraqi Security Forces integrated security solution that you developed, taught and monitored."

The colonel also described other significant successes the detachment had over the years, saying attacks throughout Baghdad have been reduced dramatically and public confidence in Iraqi police officials has soared to its highest level since the 2003 invasion.

"The success of the police transition team and mission in Baghdad is a direct result of you outstanding men and women who have served in this detachment for the past few years," Colonel Sutton said. "Your partnership with the Iraqis resulted in the development of a professional, mature and capable police force."

"You all should leave this deployment proud of what you've done," Major Lederer said. "Thank you for all you've done. This (transfer of authority) today closes a chapter in Air Force history."

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