Wednesday, August 29, 2007

National Police welcomes newest NCOs

Multi-National Force - Iraq:

Wednesday, 29 August 2007
By Pfc. Nathaniel Smith
4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division Public Affairs

BAGHDAD — In the U.S. Army, the Non-Commissioned Officer corps is known as the “Backbone of the Army.” While the Iraqi Security Forces are forging their way ahead, the National Police strengthened their own corps by recently welcoming a group of new NCOs to their ranks.

A class from the 7th Brigade, 2nd Iraqi National Police Division, graduated from the newly developed Warrior Leader’s Course in a ceremony at Joint Security Station Doura in southern Baghdad.

Of 19 ‘shurta,’ the Arabic term for policeman, that started the course, 17 completed it successfully. Those that met the requirements were promoted to the rank of corporal at the end of the graduation ceremony.

Brig. Gen. Karim Abud, the commander of 7-2 NP, told his new NCOs they work for one thing: the citizens of Iraq.

“We are the police of lawful people,” he said. “We have to work by the law. We are not sectarian or party-affiliated.”

Karim continued by making it clear that generals like himself accomplish nothing without their troops on the ground.

“I cannot do my job without the soldiers,” he said. “I am nothing without the soldiers. Any commander with no soldiers can do nothing.”

Lt. Col. Edward Rowe, the deputy commander of the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, from Gaithersburg, Md., advised the police to relish in their success but to remember what they work for.

“Enjoy this day; enjoy this recognition,” he said, “but remember: you must do your duty to Iraq, to your unit and to your commanders.”

Lt. Col. Michael Lonigro, the commander of the 7-2 NP Training Team from San Antonio, had more advice for the graduates.

“Your job is to do the right thing all the time, whether your (police) agree or not,” he said. “The right thing is to support the government of Iraq.”

Cpl. Wamir Jubr, one of the graduates of the course, felt the instruction he had received could help him do his job on the streets of Iraq.

“The challenge is to help on a day-to-day basis,” he said, “but I overcame this by getting more training here.”

Some of the training Jubr and his fellow NCOs received consisted of first-aid, weapons and maintenance, basic NCO development, and tactics, techniques and procedures.

Jubr felt he can do more to help his fellow policemen by instructing them on everything from first-aid to proper weapons maintenance.

“Going through all the training, I’m beginning to learn more and more,” he said. “I can pass that onto them.”

As anyone who has ever worn a uniform can attest, you can't have an effective fighting force withouth qualified, experienced NCO's. While the experience issue can only be dealt with over time, this story indicates that the ISF is developing well.