News: ITAM-Police transfers authority to INL as part of military reposturing efforts
Story by Spc. Timothy Koster
BAGHDAD – U.S. service members and civilians have advised and trained Iraqi Security Forces for years. During Operation New Dawn, Iraq Training and Advisory Mission-Police has had the primary responsibility for advising Iraqi police forces to become a self-sufficient protection force for their country.
As Operation New Dawn approaches its end of mission date, Dec. 31, 2011, ITAM-Police is preparing to transfer its police training responsibilities to the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, as a civilian-led training force.
The INL is an organization which is part of the United States’ Department of State that advises the president, Secretary of State, and other bureaus and departments within the government on laws and regulations to combat international narcotics crimes.
“The intent was for INL to integrate INL leadership within the ITAM beginning in early 2011 in order to match up the ITAM end of mission and the INL start of mission plan,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Michael R. Smith, director of ITAM-Police.
The transition process, which began in August, will completely turn over 20 training facilities from ITAM-Police to the INL. Three facilities were transitioned in August, seven in September, and the final 10 will be handed over in October, according to U.S. Marine Col. Troy Taylor, INL Transition Team Chief.
In the eight years ITAM-Police was in charge of the development of the Iraqi National Police’s training, the emphasis was on supplying training sites with state of the art technology and training the junior officers. Now, the INL will focus less on supplying and more on the actual training, with a focus on the higher-level ministry chiefs of police, to help create a self-sufficient security force.
“[The ITAM-Police] have done a wonderful job, and they have done it in only eight years,” said Audie Holloway, INL Police Development Program Director of Iraq Ministry of Interior. “It is truly amazing what was done in eight years.”
All the advisers working with the INL have senior-level law-enforcement experience and are subject matter experts in communications and forensics.
“Our mission is a refinement mission,” Holloway, an Anchorage, Alaska native added. “Theirs was a building mission. We would not have had the manpower to accomplish what they have… our organization is standing on the shoulders of the ITAM.”
“The INL Police-developed program is a new program,” said Smith. “It is not a continuation of the ITAM mission. It has a very narrow but defined target audience.”
“Using on-the-job mentoring and advising, the INL advisors will work side by side their Iraqi counterparts on key issues of importance,” Smith added. “This approach will develop personal relationships, build trust and enable access to key Ministry of Interiors officials…”
“On-the-job mentoring reinforces the knowledge learned at the training institutions to ensure that the policemen’s newly acquired academic skills are properly used in the work environment, and that the MoI police leaders are properly supervising their personnel,” he added.
“This activity also ensures that the new skills do not atrophy due to lack of use,” he added. “In addition, this technique provides valuable feedback to the training institution by assessing the tasks that need additional training or a different teaching method.
It takes time to build relationships and to become familiarized with what the Iraqis need, said Holloway.
Although the withdrawal of U.S. forces in Iraq is a significant step in the direction of a self-sustaining democratic Iraq, the transition of the ITAM-Police to the INL is an example of the new long-term partnership between the two nations.
This work, ITAM-Police transfers authority to INL as part of military reposturing efforts, by SSG Timothy Koster, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.