By Cpl. Dustin Weidman
1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division
BAGHDAD – Twenty Iraqi police officers graduated the "Steel Trainer" program in Nasser Wa Salam, west of Baghdad, Sept. 25, 2008.
The Soldiers of Mortar Platoon "Steel," 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, "Warrior," 25th Infantry Division, Multi-National Division – Baghdad, began "Steel Trainer" as a train-the-trainer program. Only the best officers from local stations are selected to attend the six-week program.
"These were the best IPs from Abu Ghraib," said Staff Sgt. Gary Strickland, a native of Rochester, Texas, and section sergeant for the Mortar Pltn. "Now that they have graduated Steel Trainer, they are even better."
The goal of the program is to train the selected IP officers so, in turn, they are able to return to their station and train fellow officers what they learned in the program. The course included training on checkpoint operations, clearing houses, making arrests and searching for weapons and improvised explosive device materials.
At the end of the six-week program, the students are given a final exam in which they are required to complete the tasks they have learned without the help of instructors. The exam proves their competency in the tasks and their ability to go back and train the other officers at their stations, said Strickland.
"These are some of the best Iraqi police in Abu Ghraib," said Brig. Gen. Kareem, at the graduation ceremony. "With what they have learned over the past six weeks, it will help to improve security in Abu Ghraib."
This work, IP officers qualify to train their peers, by SGT Dustin Weidman, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.