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    ‘Wolfhounds’ Battalion, ISF partner for crime scene investigation course

    'Wolfhound' Battalion, ISF partner in crime scene investigation classes

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Shawn Miller | Iraqi Police Lt. Muntasar Sami Nada, center, and 1st Lt. Asaad Kadir Muhammad bag...... read more read more

    CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, IRAQ

    12.04.2010

    Story by Sgt. Shawn Miller 

    109th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq – A small blood trail led through the desert from the wrecked minivan to a small home as Iraqi police working with Iraqi Army soldiers probed the scene, collecting evidence for their upcoming case.

    Civilian-contracted U.S. law enforcement professionals from the 11th Military Police Joint Expeditionary Forensics Facility 4 at Contingency Operating Base Speicher carefully constructed this crime scene, Dec. 4, in order to teach Iraqi Security Forces and U.S. forces to properly investigate and collect evidence.

    “This is the very first time we have trained Iraqis and U.S. forces together,” said Spencer Frazee, a law enforcement professional with the JEFF4.

    A small group of soldiers assigned to 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, “Wolfhounds,” 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, participated in the class with their IP and IA counterparts.

    As Operation New Dawn approaches the 100-day mark, the U.S. soldiers, who work with their Iraqi partners daily, took a step back, allowing the Iraqis to take the lead in the classroom, as IA and IP forces transition to independent control of operations across U.S. Division-North and Iraq.

    “Our role was to facilitate the training,” said Staff Sgt. Alex Shackleford, Company B, 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt. “We advised them in the classroom and then assisted them on the range.”

    As part of the security agreement between the U.S. and Iraq, Iraqi Security Forces have control of all crime scenes, unless American personnel are involved in the incident, Frazee said.

    Having the ISF leading the class mirrors that standard, he explained.

    Recognizing what classifies as evidence, and then documenting, collecting and processing that evidence without contaminating it is the key focus of the course, said Frazee, a veteran detective from Manchester, Conn., with 25 years of experience.

    After a day of classroom instruction, the students were tasked with processing and collecting evidence from the minivan and house during the second day of the course.

    To add to the realism of the training, Wolfhound soldiers provided security and assistance as the four Iraqi students methodically worked their way through the area.

    “We went over what to do, what not to do and how to gather evidence,” he added, as he and the other American soldiers oversaw the process.

    Beyond simply just looking for clues and gathering evidence, the process itself from beginning to end is important, Frazee noted.

    Getting the investigating agents to wear gloves and not contaminate the scene with their own DNA is vital, he said.

    “DNA is still magic to them,” said Frazee, noting how it is on the verge of court acceptance in Iraq. “We’ve actually done classes for judges.”

    U.S. law enforcement professionals and Army Judge Advocate General officials are training Iraqi judges and lawyers on the importance of DNA and forensics in hopes that it might build stronger cases against detainees, Frazee explained.

    “What we’re trying to do is have the police catch up,” he said. “We’re trying to eliminate those reasons for throwing a case out.”

    Despite the new knowledge of DNA and forensics, the Iraqi forces still must rely on U.S. facilities to process their findings since Salah ad-Din lacks any Iraqi-run labs, explained Frazee.

    The classes taught at the JEFF4 and the partnership with the U.S. soldiers will set up the Iraqis with skills necessary to continue on their own, he said.

    “Basically, what we’re teaching them is what can be done; the right way for things to be done and what should be done,” Frazee said. “Now it’s up to them to put pressure on their government to supply them with a lab in Salah ad-Din.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 12.04.2010
    Date Posted: 12.06.2010 01:43
    Story ID: 61425
    Location: CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, IQ 

    Web Views: 185
    Downloads: 4
    Podcast Hits: 0

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