View Full Version : US helps Iraqi's Secure Their Border

12-16-2009, 06:47 AM

CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE UBAYDI, Iraq (Dec. 14, 2009) -- Since U.S. advise and assist forces began partnering with Iraqi border patrols along the Syrian border in mid-November, instances of smugglers circumventing port-of-entry stations have all but ceased, according to several sources within the Department of Border Enforcement.

To prevent arms smuggling prior to the 2010 Iraqi national elections, Soldiers with Company D, 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division (Advise and Assist Brigade), began partnered operations and training with border security forces of the 15th Iraqi Brigade, DBE.

Attempts to smuggle contraband across the border berms have been greatly reduced since the Americans showed up, according to Staff Brig. Gen. Dhamin, commander of 15th Brigade.

The Americans bring highly-skilled manpower, armored trucks, night-vision optics and satellite imagery, while the Iraqis bring knowledge of the terrain and local smuggling patterns, said 1st Lt. Pat Barone, whose platoon of paratroopers was conducting nightly operations with the Iraqis north of Husayba.

Barone acknowledged that Dhamin and USF are sharing intelligence, and that Dhamin seemed eager to make the best use of the partnership.

At a border fort near a well rumored to have been visited by Saddam Hussein in his early years just before stealing across the border into Syria, the American troops were assisting DBE forces maintain border security through the night and training with them during the day.

"The idea is to establish patterns of behavior so that, when we leave, the Iraqis will continue to implement successful strategies against the enemy," said Barone.

Following one of the coldest nights on the border, Col. Salah, commander of 2nd Battalion, 15th Brigade of the DBE, drove to the American encampment to thank them.

"Thank you for leaving your families and staying out here in the cold to help us with this important mission," said Salah.

Iraqi detainees at the fort - cigarette smugglers trying to take advantage of the high price of tobacco across the border - reported that, since the Americans showed up, even cigarette smuggling has ceased.

"The smugglers know that the Americans are watching from the sky," said a suspected smuggler detained by the DBE, who preferred to remain anonymous. "The smugglers are afraid."

After a night of partnered patrolling in the wadis, or dry washes, between border forts in areas suggested by the local Iraqi commander, Barone was very pleased with the performance of the DBE soldiers who accompanied his paratroopers on patrol.

The Iraqi-American partnership goes beyond operations and training, and includes trading food for fuel and recreational soccer and baseball.

"We are so happy to be sharing food, conversation, and training with you," said Iraqi Staff Sgt. Qasim, who has served with DBE for five years and was busy planning his third marriage. "With you here, the smugglers do not try to smuggle across the border."

Lt. Col. Ayad, a company commander in the 15th Brigade's 2nd Battalion, reported that his greatest limitations are manpower and lack of night-vision optics, issues they are working to resolve.

"We can no longer give them equipment like we did in the past," said Barone, adding that the Iraqis must make their requests from their own government.

Barone's company commander, Capt. Scott Haggas, said he expects their battalion to continue partnered border operations until after the Iraqi national elections.

(Spc. Michael J. MacLeod serves with 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division (Advise and Assist Brigade) Multi National Force-West Public Affairs.)

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12-18-2009, 12:17 PM
That's not working out real well either.


12-18-2009, 12:21 PM
Gee, whose border's more important, theirs or ours?

12-22-2009, 08:15 AM

JOINT SECURITY STATION AL WAHAB, Iraq (Dec. 16, 2009) -- Iraq's first line of defense, its border police, have been training at the Al Sheeb Port of Entry, led by PoE Transition Team "Juggernaut," and are making advances in improving border security in the southern Maysan province.

As the importance increases of effective port-of-entry operations to combat illegal trafficking from Iran, the Border Police of Al Sheeb, Iraq, train to provide border security while ensuring a steady flow of commercial and pedestrian traffic.

"At the (team) level we are working with our counterparts to build a professional and independent unit, which strives to secure their operational environment in the most professional manner," said Maj. Jay Watkins, team chief.

The team's partnership with Iraqi border police improves their ability to effectively manage security at the border crossing.

"The training we offer provides Iraqis a safer, more secure nation," said Watkins.

Past training for the border police includes personnel readiness, vehicle inspections, commercial cargo inspections, personnel inspections and detainee operations. In-depth instructions also focus on assessing border police reactions to threats of hostile force, both internal and external, to the port of entry.

"As the PoE forces continue to grow and progress, they will take their knowledge and professionalism they have learned with them and use these skills to mentor their future subordinates," Watkins added.

Sgt. 1st Class Antonio Jurilla is one of the many trainers tasked with developing and leading instructions in police tactics, techniques and procedures. "The course increased the police force's operational readiness in that they are better-prepared to execute systematic and detailed searches on commercial vehicles and personnel entering the port," Jurilla said.

Daily operations for the border police include the inspection of vehicles and foot traffic, wherein police are trained to recognize signs of smuggling.

"As the training applies to everyday occurrences, the border police look and act more professionally, which makes them appear a harder target, and they are able to conduct searches more effectively and efficiently than previously," said Jurilla. "In the end, they are able to keep us, themselves, and the citizens of Iraq safer."

"Since we also taught the course with the expectation that those receiving training should be able to teach their peers what they have learned, the course also increased their preparation to execute internal training according to their officers' guidance," he added.

To improve the operational efficiency, particularly during peak hours, the employment of the Mobile Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System, or MVACIS, makes searching larger vehicles quicker and more thorough. Advanced equipment to include the MVACIS is becoming the technological standard for port of entry police and aims to strengthen the security of Iraq.

"The advise and assist mission allows U.S. forces to build a strong working relationship with their Iraqi counterparts, while, in the process, continuing to work toward an independent, efficient, and technically and tactically proficient Iraqi unit," said Watkins.

(1st Lt. Juan Torres Jr. serves with 2nd Squadron, 13th Cavalry Regiment.)

03-11-2010, 06:24 PM

The US Army bragging about Iraqi border security:

The two-story tower, emplaced on the boundary between the 7th Brigade and 8th Brigade of the DBE, was placed in the area due to intelligence suggesting the area to be a possible smuggling route, said Capt. Travis Trammell, A Troop commander.

The experience of working with the DBE is a new one for the Soldiers of Troop A, who have worked with the Iraqi Police and Army in the past, but not with the DBE, said Trammell.

"The tactics and techniques of the DBE are somewhat foreign to the troops", he said. "But it has given them an opportunity to learn and they've enjoyed it. It's an interesting setup that the DBE have and it's something to see."

Glatfelter, who is from Kinsers, Pa., said that he has seen substantial improvement in the border guards since his two previous tours in Iraq in 2005 and 2007.

"First time we were here, they were just following our lead", he said. "It was a fledgling military force we were working with, and now they run the show. We are here now as an advise and assist brigade and that's what we're doing."


04-24-2010, 06:19 AM
Our military is still guarding the borders of Middle East, Japan, Europe, more Asian countries, South American Countries, and probably more I forgot about..
yet our scumbag government refuses to protect us.