CAMP TAJI, Iraq - "Left, left, left, right," the 30-man platoon of Iraqi Police in training shouted in Arabic while marching to their next class.
The Military Police Platoon from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment developed a 10-day preparatory class to implement the basics for Iraqi Police recruits prior to attending the Baghdad Police Academy which initiates them as official police officers.
"This course is designed to give who we call 'Baby IPs' a basic understanding on what their job will consist of," said Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Brinson, the MP Platoon's top sergeant for HHC, 1st Squadron, 7th Cav. Regt.
The trainees, waiting to attend the academy, come from various stations in the surrounding area to learn basic policeman skills, he added. It's an orientation, ensuring all baby IPs go into the academy on the same level of general knowledge.
"The training covers basics on ethics, principles, Iraqi law, first aid, basic rifle marksmanship, responding to a crime scene and search techniques in various scenarios. The recruits follow a structured daily schedule emphasizing teamwork and discipline," said Brinson, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native.
The 10 days are spent introducing the material in the classroom and then actively applying them. The last two days consist of practical exercises that incorporate the entirety of the course.
"Everything learned has to be applied during the hands on scenarios. The situations gradually get harder to test their understanding," explained Brinson. "Everything is a perishable skill; they have to practice it in order to retain it. They understand the task; they are definitely learning what they need to know to be successful."
"The trainees get better every day. The course helps them become good IPs and work with the coalition forces to do our job," said Iraqi Police 1st Lt. Hesham Saman Ali Sauba Boor, a course instructor.
Each IP station is responsible for sending an academy graduated officer to teach the new IP recruits various topics. Military personnel rotate through as instructors from the MP Platoon and are also assisted by the Iraqi Army liaison officers.
"Having the IP officers teach them accomplishes a lot; it mainly helps the Iraqi Police force become self-sufficient," Brinson said. "It's another step in the progress to make security forces stronger."
As he watched the IP recruits successfully complete a bounding exercise, Brinson noted, "I see the trainees take more pride in themselves, this course is helping them to become a cohesive unit to accomplish the mission."
Staer Gabar Abedallah, a trainee, shared that he chose to become an Iraqi Police officer to serve his country, secure his community and stop the terrorists.
"The training is a great opportunity to concentrate on training and help the Iraqi people move forward in self governance," said Stonington, Ill. native, Sgt. David Ashbridge, a military police team leader for HHC, 1st Squadron, 7th Cav. Regt.