East Fallujah Iraqi Camp provides base for Iraqi units
Marine Corps News
Story Identification #: 2005427104619
Story by Lance Cpl. Evan M. Eagan
EAST FALLUJAH IRAQI CAMP, IRAQ (April 22, 2005) -- Just across Camp Fallujah’s east wall is a compound known to few Marines and visited by even fewer. Although it is unfamiliar to many, it supports a mission integral to the success of the Iraqi army and Iraqi public order brigades.
The compound is known as the East Fallujah Iraqi Camp, and it serves many functions aiding in the progress of the reconstruction process for the city of Fallujah.
“The EFIC began in November of 2004 as a 60-day temporary camp for units that were working in Fallujah,” said Staff Sgt. Robert Sanders, assistant commandant, EFIC, “but it’s still here now.”
According to Sanders, the EFIC supports between 4,000 to 5,000 Iraqi army soldiers and policemen from the city of Fallujah and surrounding areas.
“The EFIC is a base that supports the Iraqi army in Fallujah and the Iraqi public order brigades, which are basically heavy duty police units, cops with AK-47s,” said Sanders, a Fort Collins, Colo., native. “We provide them with a secure rest area, training area and we feed them and get the supplies they need to them.”
Along with supporting three Iraqi tenant units assigned to the EFIC, advanced screening and an advanced school for the army is held aboard the camp.
“We do screening for the guys who want to become a Fallujah city policeman,” said Sanders. “We get about150 every two weeks. We check their paperwork, give them a physical and make them run a PFT [physical fitness test].
“They also send the soldiers here for a finishing school. After recruit training, the soldiers come here and get assigned to one of the units. They run them through about a three-week course teaching them marksmanship, small unit tactics, checkpoint tactics and other things like that. It’s basically like MCT [Marine Combat Training].”
Making sure the Iraqi army and police units get trained and have a secure base to work out of are very important, according to Sanders.
“It does a lot of good having the EFIC,” he said. “It keeps a lot of Americans from having to be in the city of Fallujah. We have about 5,000 Iraqi soldiers patrolling the streets of Fallujah, instead of having Marines out there.
“The soldiers out there are doing alright. They are all motivated and they have pretty high morale,” Sanders added.
Iraqi army Maj. Husam Kadhum Hayawi, operations officer, EFIC, emphasizes the importance of the American-Iraqi partnership at the EFIC.
“We are very thankful for the Marines and the help they have given us,” he said. “They have helped us build a new army. When the Americans need the Iraqis’ help in the future, we will be ready to help them.”
Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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