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V Corps Release

Release Date: 8/04/2003

By Spc. Kristopher Joseph 18th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs Office

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- V Corps's 18th Military Police Brigade achieved another milestone in advancing the Iraqi Police Service when the brigade issued state-of-the-art communication radios to Iraqi officers at the Al-Mamun Police Station in western Baghdad last week.

Brigade officials say making sure the Iraqi law enforcers have a reliable internal radio communication system has been a high priority for the 18th's commander, Col. Teddy R. Spain. Spain is currently in charge of seeing that 34 police stations in Baghdad are renovated and equipped to allow the Iraqi police to provide the best possible safety and security for the city's citizens.

The Iraqi police were issued Motorola XTS 5000 digital radios, making the Baghdad police the only law enforcement agency outside the United States and only the third in the world to use the system, said Dr. Simon St. Paul, Iraq project director for radio systems.

The radio is capable of using up to 512 channels and can be encrypted so virtually no outside radio can tap into its frequency and listen in. It also has "over-the-air re-keying," which allows a radio to be shut off by another XTS 5000 in the event a radio is lost or stolen.

The entire project, which might normally take six months to complete, was finished in four weeks, St. Paul said.

"Our team has set up similar radio systems all over the Middle East," he said. "We have never done it so quickly."

Capt. Lesley Kipling, the brigade's signal officer, said the police officers were excited to receive the radios.

Brigadier Jamal Ady, the West Baghdad police chief, ceremoniously received the first of the radios from Lt. Col. John Garrity, commander of the brigade's 709th Military Police Battalion, headquartered in Hanau, Germany. The brigadier said the coalition has helped them support their people by giving them another tool to complete their mission successfully.

Iraqi citizens also helped by erecting two 60-meter radio towers that will allow the radio signals to travel throughout the capital.

The new radio system is changing the way Baghdad police will operate.

"In a few months," Kipling said, "there will be a totally different police force in Baghdad."

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