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Viking Red Marines Train Iraqis to Keep Judges Safe
Defend America News ^ | Cpl. Eric C. Schwartz

Posted on 08/31/2007 6:10:33 PM PDT by SandRat

Photo, caption below.
U.S. Marines with Viking Red Section, Mobile Assault Platoon, Regimental Combat Team 2, observe an Iraqi personal security detachment fire AK-47 rifles on a firing range at Camp Gannon. The Iraqis are training to be personal security officers for local judges.

Viking Red Marines Train Iraqis to Keep Judges Safe

Troops employ visual cues to bridge language barrier.
By Cpl. Eric C. Schwartz
2nd Marine Division
CAMP GANNON, Husaybah, Iraq, Aug. 31, 2007 — It’s not news to read that politicians, famous athletes and even entertainers have bodyguards protecting them from dangerous people, but in Iraq, their judges need protection from the same people they sentence.

This is why the Al Qa’im court system has a new personal security detachment fully trained by Marines with Viking Red Section, Mobile Assault Platoon, Regimental Combat Team 2.

“As these judges are sentencing criminals, their lives get endangered more and more.”
U.S. Marine Cpl. Dustin Barlag

“Part of setting up Iraq’s infrastructure is creating a normal working society,” said Cpl. Dustin Barlag, a Cincinnati, Ohio, native, and vehicle commander with MAP.

A normal working society protects its people by sentencing criminals in a court of law.

“As these judges are sentencing criminals, their lives get endangered more and more,” Barlag said. If Iraq’s judicial system is to be fair but stern, the judges need to feel safe from any reprisals, he said.

“This is why there was a PSD created for the judges,” Barlag said.

The newly appointed PSD of Al Qa’im’s courts were eager to learn from the experienced Marines, who had trained in personnel-protection by a large security firm.

“You can tell, when you look at a class, who wants to learn and these guys really wanted to learn what we had to teach them,” Barlag said.

The Marines wanted to teach them as much as they were willing to learn, but the language barrier was hard to overcome at first.

“It’s hard to converse through an interpreter,” said Cpl. Dustin Engelken, a Wichita, Kan., native, and a squad leader with the section.

The Marines started explaining PSD tactics through examples and using hand motions, which the Iraqis quickly understood. quickly move him to safety. Once they practiced their actions

“They picked it up almost as fast as we did about a year ago,” Barlag said.

Iraqis watched Marines perform scenarios where their “principal,” or VIP, is being targeted and the Marines had to quickly move him to safety. Once they practiced their actions slowly, the Iraqi PSD shadowed the Marines’ moves

Photo, caption below.
An interpreter repeats statements from Marines to a member of Al Qa’im court’s personal security detachment. The Marines and the bodyguard are looking for a safe place to put a judge in case of an attack. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Eric C. Schwartz

during their practical-application scenarios.

“I had them do everything slow at first, but they ended up doing better than average,” said Cpl. Jose Corona, a Los Angeles native, and vehicle commander with the section.

Al Qa’im’s large residential areas meant that the training was focused on security in confined spaces such as one-way streets, houses, and arrivals and departures.

“They are now going to think to themselves, ‘Why is that car door open? Or why is that man’s arms crossed?’” Corona said.

The Iraqi PSD was hand-picked from Iraqi army units. They all knew how to shoot the AK-47 semi-automatic rifle, but most had never touched a pistol before their PSD training.

“They did well with the rifle-training because of their past experience but it took them some getting used to the pistol,” said Cpl. Adam Bailey, a Virginia Beach, Va., native, and vehicle commander with the section.

The Iraqi police use Glock pistols because their plastic bodies are inexpensive and easy to clean, but the PSD needed a weapon that would hit its target every time. That weapon is the single-action Browning high-powered pistol.

“The Browning is more forgiving to everyone’s hands, while the Glock will fit some people’s hands and others it won’t,” Bailey said.

The PSD was given classes on how to repair and maintain their new pistols.

The three-day course ended, but the MAP will be training more PSD teams in the future. This PSD not only protects a person, it also protects the very foundation of the Iraqi court system: justice.



TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: frwn; iraq; iraqis; judges; marines; red; safe; viking

1 posted on 08/31/2007 6:10:36 PM PDT by SandRat
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2 posted on 08/31/2007 6:11:25 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat

It has got to become a country of laws not men.


3 posted on 08/31/2007 6:15:24 PM PDT by yldstrk (My heros have always been cowboys--Reagan and Bush)
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To: yldstrk

> It has got to become a country of laws not men.

Interesting comment. The Wild West was a country of men not laws, and that is what Iraq reminds me most of.

That said, I’m not sure that today’s tamed West is any better than Wyatt Earp’s Tombstone AZ. In many ways, making life safe for the schoolmarms and politicians and lawyers has made the Law much less efficient.

Back in the Wild West, it took no time at all between a jury’s guilty verdict and the hanging. Now, it can take many decades.

There is something to be said for simplicity, and there was something elegant and majestic about the manner in which Saddam Hussein was dispatched. It was Jungle Justice at its finest, tempered with plenty of due process and fair play. Justice was done, and it was seen to be done, without undue fuss and bother.

And in the end, the villain stretched a rope, as he should.

I hope Iraq retains some semblance of simplicity in its laws: our Society has swung much too far in the other direction.


4 posted on 09/02/2007 3:56:19 AM PDT by DieHard the Hunter (Is mise an ceann-cinnidh. Cha ghill mi do dhuine. Fg am bealach.)
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