Iraqi policemen call cadence during their graduation ceremony held May 16 at the Multi National Division Regional Training Academy in Ashraf, Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Ryan Elliott)
ASHRAF, Iraq (May 20, 2008) — Hundreds of new Iraqi police officers graduated, May 16, from the Multi-National Division Regional Training Academy in Ashraf, Iraq.
In all, 413 graduates completed the four-week training course. “The training the IP received was top-notch training, and it’s going to help them when they go out to their stations and start doing the job of taking care of the Iraqis and providing their security,” said Sgt. Richard Forbes-Watkins, a soldier with 202nd Military Police Company.
The Iraqi police graduation is a huge step forward for Iraq, said Sgt. Maj. Gerald Stegemeier, the senior noncommissioned officer of the 728th Military Police Battalion. The Iraqi people are now one step closer to taking over the job of providing security for their nation, he added.
“The IP’s I’ve meet have been very professional and have taken the responsibilities that their job entails very seriously,” Stegemeier said.
The new graduates will now go out to their duty stations and man their post, said 1st Sgt. William Finch with the 202nd MP Company.
The main goal for the newly trained IP is to replace the American forces in the role of providing security for the Iraqi people, Finch said. The IP’s are very excited and dedicated to the idea of taking over their country.
“The Iraqis are eager to provide security for their nation,” Stegemeier said. Currently, there are more than ten thousand Iraqis applying to become Iraqi police.