News: Soldiers, Iraqi police partner to improve community relations
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Joe Thompson
FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELTA, Iraq — Iraqi and U.S. military police partnered for "Operation Backpack," delivering over 250 backpacks filled with school supplies to the Sukaina School for Girls May 6.
IPs from the Old Izza police station in Kut led the humanitarian aid mission while Soldiers from 2nd Squad, 2nd Platoon, 772nd MP Company helped by delivering the backpacks to the IPs who then handed out the bags at the school.
"This is very beneficial to the students because they are getting supplies to help them with school," said Suhad Naeen Hethel, school manager. "It is also good because it shows the cooperation between the Iraqi police and coalition forces,"
The school is located right next to the Old Izza police station, and the station commander said he hopes these types of projects will help the school-aged children's perceptions of coalition forces.
"Today went very well and I hope to continue to do these types of projects in the future so that the children see that they should throw flowers at the coalition forces . . . because of all the help the coalition forces have given them," said Lt. Col. Thanwan, Old Izza IP station commander.
Community policing missions are different than the normal police training missions the MPs normally concentrate on. According to 1st Lt. Tyler Field, platoon leader, 2nd Plt., these missions play an important role by improving the IPs relations with the community.
"The IPs were the ones handing everything out and the children, along with the teachers, saw the IPs giving back to the community," said Field, of Bridgewater, Mass. "It's going to go a long way with community policing."
Operation Backpack is scheduled with other IP stations that the 772nd MP Co., partners with and it's always a good time when they get to do something that benefits the community.
"I just enjoy doing this stuff," said Sgt. Matthew Dubuc, squad leader, 2nd Squad, 2nd Plt.
"Just seeing the smiles on the kids faces definitely means a lot," added Dubuc, a Pawtucket, R.I. resident. "It shows that they really appreciate what we try to do for them."