News: Government of Iraq, Iraqi security forces reaffirm commitment to Sons of Iraq members
Story by Sgt. Shejal Pulivarti
BAGHDAD — The 1st "Ironhorse" Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division held a Sons of Iraq conference at Joint Security Station WarEagle, located in northeastern Baghdad, May 29.
Senior leadership from the "Ironhorse" Brigade, 11th Iraqi Army Division, and 1st National Police Division met to inform the SoI leaders on the transition into Iraqi security forces and Iraqi civil ministries and reconfirm their support to the security members who have helped bring security back to the city.
"The significance of the conference is to actively demonstrate our commitment to the SoI, our gratitude to them for their service during a critical time in Iraq's history, and our concern for their transition as the SoI program comes to completion," said Maj. Dan Fuhr, the brigade's civil affairs officer, from North Potomac, Md.
The SoI are members of the community, working with government of Iraq, who are dedicated to improving the stability of the Iraqi people in their respective areas.
The meeting covered several topics to include the density of the SoI population by neighborhoods, the Implementation and Follow-Up Committee for National Reconciliation concept and an overlay of enemy activity in the last 30 days in relation to SoI checkpoints.
The leaders highlighted the success of the SoI groups and discussed the changes they are undergoing. According to the current GoI plan, 20 percent of the SoI members will transition into the Iraq security forces and the remainder will integrate into nine various civil ministries.
The GoI led transition is being treated seriously and will occur in phases. The SoI responsibilities will continue as the transition occurs, said Iraqi Army Maj. Gen. Mizher, commander of the 11th IA Division.
As the SoI program comes to an end, the challenge becomes placing the former SoI into gainful employment. Mizher explained this employment application process during the conference.
The IFCNR registration and qualification forms provide the GoI the necessary information of each individual to place former SoI members in a position where they would be most beneficial to the people of Iraq and themselves.
Upon completion of the forms, they are sorted by education, vocation, desired education goals and referred to the appropriate ministry for employment. The former SoI members are then contacted and placed in the proper jobs to further assist in securing Iraq.
The end of the SoI program opens up other options for the members and provides Iraq a more stable ISF as well as more qualified personnel to work in the various Civil Ministries, said Maj. Carl Michaud, the deputy commander of the "Ironhorse" Brigade.
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