By Sgt. David Hodge
1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division
FORWARD OPERATING BASE FALCON, Iraq – The citizens of Arab Jabour may notice more Iraqi security forces on the roads and in the community than normal thanks to the efforts of the government of Iraq and its dedication to securing the people of Iraq.
Community leaders, ISF commanders and Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldiers gathered in the rural farming community in southern Baghdad's Rashid District for the grand opening of an Iraqi police station Jan. 11.
"There was a big turnout of all the local leaders and ISF members," said Capt. Kip Kowalski, commander of Company D, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, attached to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, MND-B. "They all showed up to commemorate this great event, which is a good feeling because they are all working together toward security improvements."
The new IP station greatly increases the number of security forces in the area by providing more uniformed policemen, explained Kowalski, a native of Olympia, Wash.
Kowalski said coalition forces soldiers partnered with the local ISF before the ceremony to provide external security and to minimize American presence inside the police station.
To memorialize the station, Iraqi police Maj. Gen. Kadhum Hameed Al-Mihimidawy, the Provincial Directorate of Police in Baghdad, cut the ribbon on the station and blessed the event.
Since the government of Iraq implemented the Security Agreement Jan. 1, all CF patrols require an ISF presence, which accommodates Kowalski's mission by providing access to more ISF patrols.
"Everything we do is with the IP, and this increased security allows us to move around with them more often," Kowalski stated.
The added security in the neighborhood gives more responsibility to the ISF, said Kowalski.
Salam Saleh Muhammed, a former Sons of Iraq security member, recently graduated from the Furat IP Academy in northwest Rashid and began working at the Arab Jabour station.
"My feelings are like any decent person," stated Muhammed, a 30-year resident of Arab Jabour. "I like to serve my country and people."
Muhammed said he feels safer since the major security improvements in the Rashid District, Baghdad and Iraq occurred.
Muhammed also said he is proud to serve as an IP because many of his family members served in the Iraqi army.
"I want to continue to provide services to civilians and spread security in the community," he added.
Kowalski and the Soldiers of the 1st Bn., 505th PIR recently deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from Fort Bragg, N.C. and assumed control of eastern Rashid.
This work, Iraqi police station opens to serve greater Arab Jabour community in Rashid, by SGT David Hodge, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.