By Spc. L.B. Edgar,
7th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
CAMP RUSTAMIYAH, Iraq – Imagine morning commutes replete with a cup of coffee followed by a drive through the roadside-bomb littered streets of Baghdad, then a long day of training Iraqi National Policemen to secure their neighborhoods. The day's work ends with an equally hazardous return trip.
This is the basic job description of National Police Transition Team (NPTT) members.
The NPTT works daily to assist the Iraqi NPs who are standing up their units and building up their resources in order to shore up the city of Baghdad's security, Maj. Dana Williams, brigade executive officer, 4th Brigade, 1st National Division Police Transition Team.
"The ultimate goal is to get them to stand on their own two feet so we don't have to come back," the native of Hayward, Calif., said.
In order to accomplish the mission, the NPTT relies on multi-skilled team members, said Capt. Cary Rux, advisor, 4th Brigade, 1st National Police Div. Transition Team.
Each team member wears at least three "hats" on a daily basis: team member, vehicle crew member and advisor to the Iraqi NPs, the native of Spokane, Wash., said.
"You have to switch hats to get the job done," Rux explained. "You have to do the first two before you can do the last."
The current NPTT for 4th Bde, 1st NP Div. deployed from Fort Riley, but received a 45-day crash course of instruction at Fort Hood prior to deployment, Rux said.
Three years after its inception, the NPTTs are working as hard as ever toward getting the NPs ready to assume responsibility. Yet, the team itself, which is responsible for the NPs transition, is undergoing a change of its own. A company of Soldiers is taking over the team's daily duties, Rux said.
"Normally the transition teams only have 30 or 40 people total. With our 137 Soldiers, we bring a lot more ability to train these guys and make sure they're ready to go out and assume missions and control of the sectors out there," said Capt. Matthew Stuckey, company commander, Company A, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cav. Div., attached to 2nd BCT, 2nd Infantry Div.
This is the first time an entire company will be partnered with a whole Iraqi NP brigade to provide training as well as conduct operations, Stuckey said.
"It's quite an honor for us to be chosen as the first company to be going in and doing this mission. I've got a lot of confidence in my guys. They've trained well. They're really a great group of Soldiers and NCOs. I know they're ready to do this. It really makes us proud to be doing this mission," Stuckey said.
According to Rux, Iraqi NPs will be leading the way on missions in the coming year.
"Rather than doing them (missions) with my platoons and company missions with small attachments of Iraqi Army or Iraqi National Police, it will be Iraqi National Police with a small squad of my Soldiers attached to them or a section of a platoon attached to them to make sure they are successful in their missions," Stuckey, who resides in Temple, Texas, said.
Over the next few weeks the company will assess the brigade's capabilities in order to tailor training to meet its needs and assure mission success for the Iraqi National Police, Stuckey said.
"My Soldiers will be working with the individual Soldiers at a much lower level of the National Police to see what their actual ability level is and what they can actually accomplish at that level," Stuckey explained.
Mission success is the same for Co. A as well as 4th Bde., 1st NP Div.
"Success is that the Iraqis are able to accomplish their missions. They're able to provide security in the sector they're responsible for and that is success for us."
This work, NPTT hands over daily duties to Cavalry Company in eastern Baghdad, by SPC Leith Edgar, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.