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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Iraqi SWAT training nears halfway point

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Army News Service, March 22, 2005 -- Iraq, with some assistance from U.S. trainers, is approaching the halfway point in fielding its Special Weapons and Tactics teams to each governorate.

Seven teams are now trained and equipped; two others are currently in training, according to officials from the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq. The MNSTC-I Civilian Police Assistance Training Team plans to provide a SWAT team for each of 20 major Iraqi cities, with at least one in each governorate.

SWAT teams in several major cities are already making a difference, according to reports. SWAT teams were used as quick reaction forces in Najaf and Al Kut during the national elections and in Basra for a major British-sponsored meeting of Shia and Sunni clerics with local officials and tribal leaders.

The Basra SWAT team was also a major player in a successful raid on a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device factory in the city.

Teams are armed with Glock 19 pistols, Binelli shotguns, AK-47 rifles and flash-bang grenades. Teams are also issued uniforms and protective gear, along with vehicles and radios.

CPATT began training provincial SWAT teams in October. These teams complement the national-level Emergency Response Unit, officials said, by providing a capability for high-risk arrest and hostage rescue to local police chiefs.

SWAT teams receive four weeks of specialized training. Basic human relations and police conduct are emphasized early in the program, complemented with weapons training, mechanical breaching procedures and close-quarters combat. The final week focuses on specialty skills: sniper operations, offensive driving, surveillance techniques and use of intelligence.

After 20 teams are fielded, CPATT's SWAT training program will conclude, leaving recruitment, sustainment and training the responsibility of the Iraqi police chiefs. CPATT will maintain a provincial SWAT training capability, but will transfer it to Ministry of Interior control in December, officials said.

(Editor's note: Information provided by an MNSTC-I news release.

For more information, visit

www.mnstci.iraq.centcom.mil
.

www.ARMY.mil OCPA Public Affairs Home

www.ARMY.mil OCPA Public Affairs Home

 



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