Iraqi Personnel Used For Different Positions
The overall operations of Operation Iraq Freedom is beginning to progress in ways of training and equipping the Iraqi Civilians. Both Iraqi Soldiers and U.S. Marine soldiers in different operations dealing with base security and perimeter security checkpoints are training Iraqi Citizens at Al Asad Air Base. Iraqi soldiers and US Marines are manning the Entry Main Control point, but trained Iraqi citizens are slowly staffing other checkpoints
Slowly, as the situation and operations mission and goals have allowed, the citizens have been able to be vetted and trained. One of the main issues is to make sure that citizens are not affiliated with Al Qaeda or terror insurgency elements.
This is going to be a goal of the long term, but you take small steps to begin the journey, said Sergeant Joseph Beal. Sgt Beal is first Sergeant with Charlie Company, 274 Marine Wing Support Squadron, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.
The trained citizens operate under direct supervision as they learn their job and to allow both the trained security citizens and the public at large to adjust. The citizens are trained in weapons handling, security, inspections and other search related training.
The training has gone well despite the differences in language. Interpreters are used but so is a mis mash of sign language and gestures. This has led to a streamlined method of communication, albeit ad hoc.