Sather Airmen take Iraqi security training to next level

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Levi Riendeau
  • 321st Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
The Iraqi air force will be a step closer to providing personal security for high-ranking officials after completing advanced security forces training with 447th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron instructors later this week.

The advanced course, which is a precursor to personal security detail training, involves three days in the classroom, followed up with 12 days in the field practicing what the students learned.

"The advanced course is an effort to move toward the next phase of instruction, which is a joint effort with the Office of Special Investigations," said Master Sgt. William Romes, the 447th ESFS NCO in charge of Iraqi security forces training.

"These guys are return customers," said Sergeant Romes, who is deployed from the Ohio Air National Guard. "They have been through our 18-day train-the-trainer basic security course."

Airmen from the 447th ESFS pulled from a plethora of experience within the unit to ensure the training was a success. The instructors' backgrounds ranged U.S. Marines Corps service to law enforcement in the U.S.

The instructors went over theory and examples in the classroom with their Iraqi air force partners, then took the training a step further by taking the students outside for some hands-on experience.

"You literally have to make them practice stuff until it becomes muscle memory; that's how we train ourselves," said Tech. Sgt. Tyler Elliot, the 447th ESFS assistant NCO in charge of Iraqi security forces training.

Building up their "muscle memory," the students conducted mounted operations, combat patrols, dismounted operations and military operations in urban terrain.

"We've made huge jumps so far, but they have a long way to go still," said Sergeant Elliot, who is also deployed from the Ohio Air National Guard.

While a lot of what was taught was based on training and instructor experience, the instructors had to adjust their training to account for the Iraqis' equipment shortcomings. For example, the Iraqi security forces don't have enough vehicles for patrols, so they familiarized themselves with 447th ESFS vehicles used during the training sessions.

Despite equipment shortcomings, the instructors taught their students everything they could to prepare their Iraqi partners for increasing responsibilities as U.S. forces transition out of Iraq.

"Whatever skills come out of this class, whether they use it or not, will go into their tool box," Sergeant Romes said. "It's always a tool that's there to be used at a later time."