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Basrah Police Train Commandos in Riot Control

May 25, 2011

By Maj. William Mott, 1st Bn.,12th Cav. Regt., 3rd AAB, 1st Cav. Div.

BASRAH, Iraq - Iraq is exercising its democracy in the form of freedom of speech, and using peaceful demonstrations to voice that new freedom. Sometimes, peaceful demonstrations are only so because highly trained commandos and Emergency Response Units exercise their civil disturbance training.

Stability Transition Team Enforcer coordinated riot control training for the Basrah Operations Command (BaOC) commandos through its counterpart, the Iraqi Police ERU, to ensure the commandos could operate as an auxiliary force to the IPs in the event that a demonstration did turn into a riot.

At the request of the BaOC Commander, Staff Lt. Gen. Muhammad Juwad Al-Huwaidy, Team Enforcer coordinated a four-day-three-hour civil disturbance training session for the IPs to train the commandos. Maj. Steve Cooper, senior advisor to the Commando Battalion, facilitated the locations and scheduling and attended the sessions from May 10-12.

Iraqi Army Maj. Rey'ad, Commando Battalion Executive Officer said, "I want to take full advantage of this special training so I brought forty other Soldiers to watch and learn while the others trained. I plan to have them train the rest of my battalion."
With shin guards and elbow pads strapped on, face shield helmets, rubber batons, and full-length transparent plexiglass shields in hand the training began. Thirty eight IA commandos and nine highly trained professional Iraqi Police took to the field in 100 degree temperature to build on their earlier classroom instruction.

Scrimmaging against each other, they took turns throwing rocks and cement and kicking at the shields, and when commandos and Soldiers get together for riot training, it takes excellent IP instructors to keep the scenario a scenario. The teams had fun testing each other's ranks despite the rough and realistic training.

Lt. Col. Gregory Stokes, STT Enforcer Commander, was pleased with the program.

"The third order affect of this training is the cooperation between the IA and IP. We want to encourage more collaboration between the forces to strengthen the bond between them." Stokes said.

In a rare cultural exchange, Maj. Rey'ad called the police chief to say how pleased he was with the training.

"The bond built in just four days was so strong that the IA Maj. Rey'ad recommended a day off reward for the IP instructors. It was great to see the IA praise the IP for their professionalism." said Cooper.

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