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Daughters of Iraq begin training

By 1st Lt. Augustin Valerio Nunez , 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division

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Women in training to become Daughters of Iraq take notes during a class on checkpoint operations given by Soldiers from Company A, 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment. The training began May 17. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Paul Monroe)
Women in training to become Daughters of Iraq take notes during a class on checkpoint operations given by Soldiers from Company A, 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment. The training began May 17. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Paul Monroe)

BAGHDAD (May 28, 2008) – The Soldiers of Company A, 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment found an ally in the Sons of Iraq (Abn al-Iraq) early on in their 15-month deployment.

As part of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Task Force Rogue worked with the Sons of Iraq to thwart criminal activity in the Al Mansour District of northwest Baghdad for 13 months.

Now the plan is to add women to the ranks.

On, May 17, 31 women from the Adil and Jamia neighborhoods of northwest Baghdad began training to become part of the Daughters of Iraq.

The 10-day training program was held at the Joint Security Station in Adil. There Soldiers incorporated hands-on-instruction with classroom activities to teach women basic military skills.

The women learned how to search rooms, how to handle Kalashnikov rifles and how to identify the threat of a suicide bomber.

The program was designed to give women the skills necessary to conduct operations alongside their Iraqi brethren.

After graduation the women will use these skills to shore up security at schools, checkpoints and government buildings.

The Daughters of Iraq will give Iraqi security forces the ability to combat the increasing threat of females being used as suicide bombers.

“The Iraqi culture has some strict rules on how men should treat women,” said Maj. Christopher Budihas, a plans officer with 1st Bn., 64th AR. “A lot of times they will not search women because of these cultural rules.”

The Daughters of Iraq presence at checkpoints will be an acknowledgement of these cultural rules.

They will also assist security forces with routine house searches where it is not uncommon to find a house full of men, children and women.

Capt. John Dixon commander of Co. A said the goal is to search everyone and to do it within Iraqi cultural standards.

After graduation the new recruits will work in Adil and Jamia.

Dixon also said TF Rogue hopes the success of the program will encourage more women to train and in turn double the amount of women in the program.