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Thursday, 07 February 2008 By Sgt. Daniel D. Blottenberger
Multi-National Corps – Iraq PAO

BAGHDAD — In the past six months, Iraqi Police expansion in Baghdad has reached an all time high with new recruits filling the rank and file around Baghdad provinces; Iraqi Police forces are improving by the day.

As the 18th Military Police Brigade Police Transition Teams assess improvements with the numbers of IPs and rule of law operations at the station level, the 18th Military Police Brigade begins a transition into a systems approach, while moving the Iraqi Police Headquarters to the next level of performance in order for them to secure the future of the Iraqi people.

The enhanced Police Transition Team or ePTT, is the new approach being used.

The 18th MP Bde. ePTT is composed of staff representatives from military police, logistics, communications and personnel leaders who have recently been developed to focus on the sustainment operations of the Iraqi Police Force in Baghdad.

“We are energizing the leadership to take responsibility and support their stations,” said Lt. Col. Thomas Lombardo, operations officer, 18th MP Bde.

The brigade is doing this by sending staff experts to the IP provincial leadership in Baghdad to support the IP efforts in improving their sustainment systems. The new approach is not only looking at the PDOP HQs, but in addition, are working at other Provincial levels such as the Criminal Investigations Department, Provincial Police Patrol Headquarters and Traffic Headquarters.

“We are sending individuals with the right skill sets to engage the proper IP sections,” said Lombardo, native of Buffalo, N.Y., who has deployed with the brigade to Baghdad twice.

The brigade is supporting logistics, personnel management, maintenance, budget, police operations, training, leadership and judicial integration sections.

“You can have all these systems in place, but if you don’t have good leadership, none of these things will work. Leadership makes things work,” said Lombardo, who has worked directly with the IP leadership in Baghdad since the unit deployed from Germany in October.

Lombardo said the IP leadership is very proactive and receptive to this new approach that is being introduced by their Coalition Force counterparts.

“The stations here in Baghdad are good; we can make them better,” said Lombardo. “If we can get the IP leadership to take responsibility of their stations and take charge.”

Over the past month, the brigade staff has worked with all the provincial levels of leadership in Baghdad to understand the IP systems and see how the ePTT can help improve IP director methods of operation.

The brigade sent staff experts from each section of operations to the Iraqi Police higher echelons to learn and assess the Iraqi Police systems.

“Iraqi police have grown in numbers, now their systems need to grow to match their numbers,” said native of Delmar, N.Y., 1st Lt. David Delong, a communications officer who visited the IP station higher echelons in Baghdad recently to examine the IP communication systems.

“The Iraqi Police were very happy to have someone who knows communications to come talk to them and lend some advice,” said Delong.

Delong said he was impressed with the knowledge of their communications systems, and they knew where they wanted to go with their systems.

Internet communications is important and vital for the passing of information between the IP stations between headquarters in Baghdad, Delong said.

During his visit, he noted problems in the internet connectivity between the IP station levels.

“They have problems in internet connectivity,” said Delong. “And they are now trying to fix those problems with our help.”

The ePTT teams are now stepping in to help distribute the IPs needed communication supplies from the Ministry of the Interior, and set up contracts to get internet connectivity. They are also starting to train the more experienced communications personnel at the IP stations to help further train other officers at the stations in the communication equipment.

Native of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Master Sgt. Thomas Francis, maintenance supervisor, 18th MP Bde., recently spent several days observing the IP maintenance system at the Central Maintenance Facility in Baghdad.

“The IP have a good system in place,” said Francis, who has been working in maintenance facilities for 20 years.

“The IP work (well) with what they have,” said Francis, referring to the mechanics’ equipment used to operate on vehicles at the central maintenance facility.

“They are very organized and have good accountability of their parts, which they often recycle to get the most out of their equipment,” Francis added.

The PTT plans on helping the mechanics procure modernized equipment for the IP mechanics and training. In addition, recommend ideas on how to move mechanics and spread them out to the different IP organization levels in order to capitalize on experience to round out the force.

“There are a lot of mechanics in training, and once they graduate, we will help them distribute the new mechanics to all levels in Baghdad,” said Francis.

The new mechanics and equipment will help speed up the recovery process for the damaged IP vehicles, thus furthering the IP mission capability, said Francis.

As the ePTT approach is in its initial stage the brigade leadership feels that this systems approach is going in the right direction.

“I feel confident that we are going in the right direction,” said Lombardo, referring to the ePTT system.

The strategy is a planned foundation for the future success of the IP in Baghdad.

“Enhanced PTT is a strategy to build on, and in the future we will hand this off to future brigades to continue,” said Lombardo.

The IP leadership is taking the advice from the ePTT and responsibility for their stations while improving the IP systems in Baghdad.

“This system helps us move to our end-state, in which IP(s) move to enforce the rule of law independently, “said Lombardo.

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 7th, 2008 at 11:23 pm and is filed under Iraqs Inconvenient Truth. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

SOURCE:Daily Posts From Iraq (usually)

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