RAMADI, Iraq – A loud blast resounds and a cloud of smoke hovers over a vehicle. Inside the hazy automobile lay the body of the terrorist who detonated the vehicle-borne improvised explosive device, killing himself and an innocent bystander. As the smoke clears, sirens soon replace echoes of the explosion.
Iraqi Police officers from Ramadi Urban Police Headquarters arrive at the Nov. 30 simulated crime scene to take part in an incident response exercise in Ramadi, Iraq.
“This exercise provided the U.S. forces with an assessment of what the Iraqi Police are good at and what they need to work on,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Burgos, a military police officer in Headquarters and Heaquarters Company, Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, United States Division – Center, and Philadelphia, native.
Burgos and two fellow MPs have been training their IP counterparts on valuable skills such as crime investigation and evidence collection during their tour in Iraq.
“By evaluating different aspects of the IPs, we can identify future training options and help the Iraqi security forces become stronger against threats like VBIEDS,” Burgos said.
Within 30 seconds of the mock explosion, the IPs arrived to the scene and began detective-type work dusting for fingerprints, questioning witnesses and collecting any remaining evidence.
“Overall, I think they did a good job,” said Sgt. Timothy Miller, a military police officer with HHC, BSTB, 4th AAB, 3rd Inf. Div., and Bridgeton, N.J. native. “They came in and reacted quickly.”
This was the first exercise of its kind for the Ramadi Urban District Headquarters IPs who invited their sister stations to attend.
Miller said his team plans to host similar incident response exercises for the other local police stations.
“We also are planning to conduct training on kidnapping and assassinations,” he said, “other threats in the Ramadi area.”
Lt. Col. Hashim Ahmed Hamid, training officer with Ramadi Urban District Headquarters police station, said he was grateful for the training experience and requested more training from the MPs.
“We know the U.S. military trains and trains and trains until they get it right,” said Hamid. “And we plan to do the same. I am confident there will be fewer mistakes next time. It was a very effective training tool.”
Burgos said the training was twofold, an opportunity for the ISF to excel and a opportunity for him to do something meaningful.
“It makes me feel good to know I am making a difference for the Iraqi people,” he said.
This work, Fighting Crime: USD-C Soldiers teach IPs 1st response techniques, by SFC Tanya Green, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.