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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iraqi police courses, conferences bolster force

By Staff Sgt. Mark Wojciechowski

MUQDADIYAH, Iraq (Army News Service, Jan. 31, 2006) – Seventeen Iraqi policemen graduated from the Scorpion Academy Saturday and two conferences in different provinces of Iraq last week were aimed at further training police forces.

The Scorpion Academy is located at Forward Operating Base Normandy, about 50 miles northeast of Baghdad. The academy training is overseen by Staff Sgt. Michael Barnette of the 32nd Cavalry, 1st Battalion, 101st Airborne Division.

Academy teaches police basics

The academy’s two-week course is designed as a basic survival course and as a foundation for the Iraqi security force, Barnette said. The training received at the academy includes first aid, basic rifle and pistol marksmanship, urban patrolling techniques, vehicle checkpoint procedures, prisoner searches, room-to-room searching and cordon and search.

“The academy is almost entirely operated by Iraqi police officers,” said Barnette. “There are three Iraqi Police Liaison Officers (U.S. civilian contractors) that are there to assist in any way they can; each have between 15 and 18 years of service as police officers in America.”

The Iraqi cadre teach the entire course. The IPLOs and coalition are merely there to facilitate the training where needed.

Graduates of the Scorpion Academy rejoiced at the end of their training. They left with a message to take what they have learned here and use it to train new recruits to help become the protectors of the people of Iraq.

MDN orgainizes police conferences

Multi-National Division – Central South and Iraqi Police organized and held two conferences concerning the support for police forces in Diwaniyah and Kut provinces recently.

Iraqi policemen presented the current state of structures, the organization of police departments, infrastructure conditions and situation in the provinces. They also presented their needs in training and logistics matters.

“Our goal is to build credible Iraqi Police structures, capable of independent law enforcement operations and ready to provide secure environment in provinces,” said Maj. Gen. Piotr Czerwinski, MNDCS commanding general.

The local Iraqi police currently number around 80,000 officers. The goal is 135,000 trained and equipped station police.

The special police are also fighting alongside the Iraqi army against the terrorists and Saddamists. Special police now number approximately 19,000, close to the goal for a complete force, according to Department of Defense officials.

The Iraqi Border Police now stand at about 18,000. The goal is to have 28,000 border police trained and equipped by the end of the year.

(Editor’s note: Staff Sgt. Mark Wojciechowski serves with the 133rd MPAD.)

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