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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Soldiers train Baghdad police on survival skills

By Spc. Mary Rose

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Army News Service, May 11, 2005) – Iraqi police are learning to keep themselves alive in a police-officer survival course instituted by U.S. Army military police as part of the Police Partnership Program.

Many of the police who are going through the course will become part of the Emergency Response Force, a team that will be trained in reacting to special situations in Baghdad.

The beginning phase is a five-day course taught by a military police squad from the 401st MP Co., 720th MP Battalion, 42nd MP Brigade. The course entails first aid, searching vehicles, removing suspects from vehicles, handcuffing techniques and improvised explosive device and vehicle-borne improvised explosive device awareness.

The Partnership Program links military police and Iraqi police together so they can learn from each other and become better officers. The 42nd MP Bde. is also partnering with the Iraqi Police leadership at Baghdad Police Headquarters to work on becoming a more competent staff.

Staff Sgt. Starsky Smith, the noncommissioned officer in charge of training for the 401st MP Co., said the response teams will be able to respond to and control emergency situations.

There are 157 emergency response force recruits currently going through the training. During May 10 first aid, vehicle search and suspect extraction training each police officer went through many different hands-on techniques to ensure they understood what they are supposed to do in different situations.

“We are continuously training the police to make them a force in Baghdad,” said Beth Hurlburt, Iraqi Police operations officer, 42nd MP Bde.

Not all of these Iraqi police officers will go on to be part of the elite Emergency Response Force, officials said. About 30 percent of them will be trained to a higher level so they can become trainers.

The Iraqi policemen will be tested on what they have learned throughout the week of training and will take a physical fitness test to assist the Iraqi police leaders and MPs in the process of choosing the most suitable recruits to continue on with higher training.

After the best are picked, they will continue their education with special weapons and tactics training so they will have the tools to come back as instructors.

“They will be able to teach others what they’ve learned,” Hurlburt said. “It’s like training the trainers and then they will train trainers. We are making them self-sustainable.”

The training will improve their skills and knowledge, and in turn, improve the survivability of the police force as a whole, Hurlburt added.

“You can never have too much training,” Smith said.

(Editor’s note: Spc. Mary Rose serves with Multi-National Corps Iraq Public Affairs.)


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