Skip to comments.U.S. Army Cavalry Train Iraqi National Police
Posted on 01/11/2007 8:22:30 PM PST by SandRat
FORWARD OPERATING BASE RUSTAMIYAH, BAGHDAD, Jan. 11, 2007 Soldiers in Company A, 1st Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, attached to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, are doing their part to help the Iraqi national police eventually take over security operations in eastern Baghdad. Sgt. Jack G. Schnackenberg, a Cavalry team leader, said his platoons mission is to patrol with the Iraqi police and conduct searches.
Were more like advisors to them, he said. We offer general and fire support for their mission.
Schnackenberg, of Arkansas City, Kan., said its been a challenge working with the national police. During the training, interpreters are used in order to help ease the language barrier.
When searching houses we dont have enough interpreters to go around so we point and do a lot ourselves, he said.
The difference in culture has also proved to be a challenge, Schnackenberg said, as the Iraqis dont like being corrected. Still, he said hes seen improvements.
I dont know if it was us or they just didnt want to go out (at first), he said of the national polices hesitance to leave the wire. Theyre more willing to go out now.
New soldiers have adapted well to working with the Iraqi policmen, Schnackenberg said, as they overcome constant obstacles stemming from a language barrier and cultural differences.
I would have to say they are as well-enlightened about the culture as I am, he said.
Staff Sgt. Phillip B. Kendzior, the companys master gunner, said he was in charge of running the ranges where the
national police zeroed their weapons. Kendzior, of Rochester, N.Y., said the first day of the zeroing range didnt go very well but they came back the next day and stayed until they were all zeroed.
One of the positive aspects of training the national police, Kendzior said, is that it gives his troops a chance to get familiarized with the weapons Iraqis are using.
Its really good because a lot of times if you go on patrols and find guys with AK-47s. You have to be able to clear them, he said. Its a safety issue.
Kendzior said most of the Iraqi national police are fun to be with as they laugh and enjoy themselves. Communication, over time, has become less of a problem. Interpreters are used and both the Americans and Iraqis know a few words of the others language.
Pfc. Jeromy Markin, a rifleman with the companys 3rd Platoon, said this is his first deployment and working with the iraqi national police has been interesting.
They were really curious, said the Phillipsburg, Kan., native. Markin added that the iraqi national police are pretty friendly and about 95 percent come up and talk to soldiers.
Pfc. Philip L. McMillan, an infantryman with 1st Platoon, said he hasnt gotten a chance to work with the police outside the wire yet, but he has ridden around with them.
The language barrier is not bad because enough of them speak English, he said.
McMillan is on his first deployment and said the cultural differences arent hard to overcome.
You just have to remember the small key points, he said. Thats all that matters.
"the Iraqis dont like being corrected."
An unfortunate trait of Arab culture. You're never going to get better without being corrected and trying to learn from your mistakes.