News: Attack Company helps Iraqi police take charge
DIYALA, Iraq – "We do a lot of patrols without the Iraqi Army or U.S. forces," said Maj. Sadam Ahmad Mahoud, the commander of the Iraqi police station in Imam Mansoor. "We have been hit by improvised explosive devices in the past, and we didn't have this training, or this equipment. We are ready now; this knowledge will help us react better."
Leading the instruction on advanced medical care to Maj. Mahoud's men are Soldiers from 4th Platoon, Attack Company, 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, April 18.
Although these policemen received basic first-aid education in the past, the Soldiers of 4th Platoon felt that as the IPs continue to patrol communities as an independent force. They must know how to react to an incident. Being a first responder requires the Iraqi policemen to know how to evaluate and treat casualties.
"We felt they needed more advanced medical training, that they needed to know more than just how to slap on a Band Aid," said 1st Lt. John Nance, native of Crown Point, Ind., 4th platoon leader for Attack Company, 5/20 Inf. "We also wanted to show them what we do and why we do it."
Spc. Wayne Holmes, a combat medic with 4th Platoon, showed the IPs of Imam Mansoor how to effectively apply a pressure dressing to stop severe bleeding, apply tourniquets, and administer intravenous fluids, all of which are skills needed in traumatic situations.
Mahoud's team of police has worked with 4th Platoon over the past seven months to receive not only medical training, but instruction on checkpoint operations and patrolling techniques.
"We've given them training in Battle Drill Six, which is vehicular and personnel search techniques," said Nance. "This was stressed for the elections, but they'll be able to use this for better security into the future, since one of their responsibilities is to operate checkpoints."
The Sykes' Regulars of 4th Platoon have also taken their training with this IP unit outside the classroom.
"We've done a lot of clearing operations together through the surrounding villages and palm groves," said Nance. "We've shown them how we operate and also shown them the equipment we use, such as a metal detector, and how that can be used to find weapons caches out in the palm groves."
Nance and his men no longer partner as frequently with this IP unit since the closure of Forward Operating Base Caldwell, near Imam Mansoor. This isn't because they are no longer close by.
"They operate alone 98 percent of the time," said Attack Company Commander Capt. Ryan Case. "They really set an example for other IPs."
This feeling is shared throughout Attack Company as they have watched this Iraqi unit excel in training sessions and then apply what they learned during their combined opperations.
"When I think of the Imam police station, I think of police station back home," said Nance. "They perform the same duties as American police, they walk the beat, they patrol regularly, and they are very responsive to their people."
As the Army prepares for its responsible drawdown of forces in Iraq, Mahoud is confident his men will be the best police force they can be, using the training they have received from Attack Company.
"We will control the situation here 100 percent," said Mahoud about what will happen when U.S forces leave Diyala province. "We will provide security for villages around here, run checkpoints, investigate criminal activity, and we know if we need assistance we can call the IA if necessary."
Date Posted:04.25.2010 11:58
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