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MPs enhance skills of border patrol police in Anbar

Apr 16, 2010

By Staff

TREBIL, Iraq -- Border security policemen guarding Iraq's gateway to and from Jordan attended a week-long skills course taught by U.S. military advisors.

Nine border policemen from 1st Brigade of the 2nd Region, Department of Border Enforcement, learned preventive medicine and field medicine, how to conduct field interviews, and how to better search personnel and vehicles from Soldiers of 585th Military Police Company, an Ohio National Guard unit attached to 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division (Advise and Assist Brigade).

"I came out to this training to get closer to my Soldiers and learn their training needs," said Sgt. Maj. Abdul Hadi, sergeant major of 1st Brigade, DBE. "The training was much better compared to previous training, from personnel searches to behavioral retention. It was very in-depth," he said.

The training helped to bolster the real and felt professionalism among a security force often looked down upon by the security community as a substandard law enforcement agency, said Sgt. Robert Ritchie, a military policeman with the 585th.

In preparation for the drawdown of U.S. forces from Iraq, a goal of the American trainers was to make trainers of the Iraqis, he said.

"We were sent out here to conduct a variety of training," said Ritchie. "[With hope], they will use the skills that we gave them to train their guys."

Hadi said that work in Trebil on the Jordanian border was, for the most part, comfortable and safe, but for their brothers in Waleed on the Syrian border, there was always the threat of smugglers trying to move contraband across the border or terrorists trying to blow up the port of entry.

"I have to say, I am taking away a lot from the vehicle searches and personnel arrest techniques," said Hadi. "Before, our guys were unsafe and hasty about searching vehicles to the point of leaving things unfound. Now, because of the training, we know to take our time and search thoroughly until we're sure that nothing has been left behind."

Resources are limited for Iraqi Security Forces, said Hadi, but thanks to the training and motivation the received, they are better able to serve and fight for the Iraqi people, he said.

Spc. Nick Weiner, a health-care specialist with the 585th, helped teach segments on basic first aid and preventive medicine in a field environment.

"The border patrol has limited assets, so the purpose of my training is to help them do the best they can with very limited materials," said Weiner.

Simple skills, like training the border policemen how to use a tourniquet to sustain a casualty until better care arrives, might save many lives, he said.

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