Security Forces Airmen Help Secure Future Of Iraq
(September 14, 2009)
Senior Airman Christopher Cable (right) helps Senior Airman Jason Gregory don his individual body armor protection Aug. 22, 2009, at Camp Stryker, Iraq. Both Airmen are assigned to the 732nd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron Detachment 2 Police Transition Team, which performs outside-the-wire missions training Iraqi policemen and conducting intelligence operations to enhance the security of the country. Airman Gregory is deployed from Langley Air Force Base, Va., and is a native of New Caney, Texas, and Airman Cable is deployed from the
U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado and is a native of Niagara Falls,
U.S. Air Force photo by TSgt. Johnny L. Saldivar
CAMP STRYKER, Iraq (9/8/2009 - AFNS)
Members of the Air
Force's 732nd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron Det. 2 here strive to ready
members of the Iraqi police to handle day-to-day police operations within their
district in Iraq.
Currently, the security forces Airmen are responsible for nine different
stations and are training their second district, said Master Sgt. Onre Talbert,
the 732nd ESFS Det. 2 flight leader.
To prepare the Iraqi police, the security forces Airmen provide training to
local Iraqi police stations on basic police activities including law
enforcement, individual searches, checkpoints, force protection set-up and
clearing buildings. One station can have 150 to 350 policeman.
"There is no real set outline on what we train," said Sergeant Talbert, who is
deployed from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and is a native of Baton Rouge, La.
"You get a feel for how the station is, talk to the station commander and train.
It's an ongoing thing -- we're always training, just like at home.
"You get to see the difference," he continued. "Being here from day one, you see
what skill set they are and their knowledge. Three to four months down the line
you get to see their progress and you get to see the impact you've made here."
While things are currently running smoothly, the team has hit a few speed bumps
in the road.
"Getting supplies and logistics in Iraq is hard to do," said Staff Sgt. Brett
Lafreniere, who is assigned to the 732nd ESFS and deployed from Nellis AFB, Nev.
"The biggest aspect is to make sure they know how to patrol and run their
station properly. When we show up, we hold them accountable and make sure that
they are doing their patrols."
Even with the hardships, the 732nd ESFS Airmen feel this deployment has been a
pleasant change from previous ones.
"Working with typical deployments where we're just securing airfield, you don't
get to interact with the community," said Sergeant Talbert, a native of Lake
Force, Calif. "Being able to interact and watch them progress is pretty fun."
Another security forces Airman agreed.
"Whenever you're just on an airfield or a base, you don't get to interact with
Iraqis," said Staff Sgt. Shawn Hardesty, the vehicle commander deployed from
Langley AFB, Va. "You're biased to what you see on the news. Once you get here
and talk to the IPs, you realize that most of them are tired of war, and that
they are trying to secure their areas cause they don't want their families
"For every one bad thing you see on the news, there are 20-30 good things
happening here," said Sergeant Hardesty, a native of Terra Alta W.Va. "They
don't show that stuff on the news. Right now we're protecting and monitoring a
specific district, but over time we're helping to protect an entire country."
Article by Senior Airman Alyssa C. Miles
U.S. Air Forces Central Public Affairs
Air Force News Service
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