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Iraqis Graduating from Police, Military Training

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 4, 2004 – Within the week, 654 Iraqis will graduate from police academies and join the ranks of those striving to secure their country.

After their graduation from Iraqi Police Service basic training on Aug. 5, 552 recruits will report to duty stations in Baghdad.

The ceremony comes at the conclusion of eight weeks of basic training. Coalition military police taught recruits the fundamental policing skills, techniques and ideals of law enforcement employed in a free society.

The Iraqi Police Service's Adnon Police Training Facility also will hold a graduation for 74 officers this week. They will have completed courses in basic criminal investigation, criminal intelligence and police internal controls. These three courses augment the basic training courses Iraqi police officers receive as recruits. The specialized courses are part of the Iraqi government's ongoing effort to train its police forces to provide security in a free Iraq, officials said.

Additionally, 28 Iraqi Police Service officers will graduate from the elite Emergency Response Unit training in a ceremony to be held at an undisclosed location.

Multinational Force Iraq officials said the coalition has assisted in the training to help the Iraqi government stand up an elite 270-man Iraqi Police Service unit trained to respond to national-level law enforcement emergencies. The recruits first must complete basic police training, or a shorter transition integration program for prior-service officers, before entering the eight-week special-weapons-and-tactics-type training.

The specialized training prepares the recruits to handle terrorist incidents, kidnappings, hostage negotiations, explosive ordnance disposal and other similar situations. The unit will be the main responding force for incidents requiring DELTA/SWAT capabilities and will only be used in extreme situations, officials said.

Also this week, two Iraqi army battalions, each with a separate mission, deployed to Baghdad. The Iraqi Intervention Forces' 4th Battalion was deployed to the southern part of the city for stability and support operations.

"It's a significant development," said the Coalition Military Training Assistance Team chief of staff, Army Col. Jim Mulvenna. "This is now one of three Iraqi battalions being employed in the Baghdad area of operations."

The unit had previously spent several months at the Taji Military Training Base north of Baghdad in special military operations and urban terrain training. The Intervention Force is the branch of the army specifically trained in counterinsurgency operations.

Lead elements of the Iraqi army's 5th Battalion deployed to a base in the western portion of the city for force protection operations.

This unit had previously trained at the Kirkush Military Training Base east of Baghdad. It joins two Intervention Force battalions there since July, and will work with coalition forces at the base in force protection, perimeter security and security operations outside the post.

"They're here to continue the forward movement of trained battalions and provide security for those units coming to train," Mulvenna said. "Iraqi forces are providing the lion's share of force protection to Iraqi bases, enabling the ongoing, effective generation of well-trained Iraqi battalions."

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