Iraqi Police And National Army Participate While Coalition Observes
Haditha– In one of the first of its kind emergency operations drills, the Iraqi Police and Iraqi National Army conducted a series of National Security Emergency Drills on March 26th, in the region of Haditha.
The Emergency Response Drills are an effort to train and prepare should there be a need to respond to certain situations. Some of the members of the Iraqi Forces who participated in the Drills were veteran team members, and so for them much of the experience was old hat. Other members were new recruits, so for them it was a valuable first experience of what to do in case of severe emergency situations.
“This was an exercise important for training but also to prepare and make the Iraqi citizens have confidence in our ability to respond,” said Iraqi Colonel Muhammad Shafur, Commander of Iraqi Forces and the Drill Exercise Commander.
“We were able to demonstrate to the people we are ready in case of insurgent attack,” said Shafur.
Part of the exercise involved setting up and successfully running checkpoints, and searching of people that wanted to enter or pass the checkpoints. Several times citizens who were posing as weapons carrying insurgents were caught, and their weapons and explosive packages were exposed and discovered.
Members of Regimental Combat Team 5, 23rd Marine Battalion, and 3rd Battalion were observing the Iraqi conducted exercise, and they were pleased with what they observed. “Everything that they practiced today in these drills is important, and the fact that they have learned how to conduct and practice these skills is a huge improvement,” said Lieutenant Colonel Dave. G. Bellon, RCT 5 Commanding officer.
“Insurgents are still out there, and these drills are very important, the fact that they went so smoothly helps attract more citizens to the fight. The insurgents are still recruiting too, but the success of Iraqi Police and Army forces like this makes attracting new members a lot easier for them,” said Colonel Bellon.