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Weapons Cache Seized; Ceremony Held for Iraqi Police Graduates

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 15, 2007 – U.S. soldiers assisted in the removal of a makeshift bomb near Baghdad after Iraqi police seized the devise along with a weapons cache during a raid on Jan. 13, U.S. military officials reported.

The weapons cache included 60mm mortars, 81mm mortars, a 60mm mortar launcher, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and nine rockets, explosive formed charges, a 120mm artillery round, 107mm rockets, blasting caps and timers, officials said.

Also on Jan. 13, a ceremony was held in recognition of Ramadi Iraqi police graduates. A total of 58 Iraqi police officers graduated from their weeklong advanced training course at the Ramadi Training Center.

Iraqi police officers train at the center after completing a five-week basic training course at the Jordan International Police Training Center, said U.S. Army Capt. Stewart H. McFall, the officer in charge of the RTC.

While in Jordan, the Iraqis learn basic skills in police work, McFall said. Upon completion, they return to their assigned Iraqi police station and begin working with police transition teams and Iraqi police liaison officers until there is an opening for advanced training at the RTC.

There has been a recent surge in qualified police candidates in Ramadi, with more than 1,000 applicants this month, McFall said.

RTC students completed intensive training which includes, detainee operations, cordon searches, dismounted patrols, building searches, traffic control point operations, and reflexive fire training, McFall said.

“I'm living the good life now because it's harder for the terrorists to do their job against the U.S. forces, Iraqi police, and Iraqi army combined,” one graduate said through a translator. “Now that I work as an IP, my family feels much safer ... I'm ready to go to the streets to do my job here and help the Iraqi people.”

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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