Story by 2nd Lt. Devin Osburn, 2nd AAB, 1st Inf. Div., USD-C
BAGHDAD—To help lay the foundations for maximizing his unit’s efforts to enhance security throughout their area of operations in Baghdad, Maj. Gen. Baha, commander of the 4th Iraqi Federal Police Division, recently visited Joint Security Station Falcon to meet with Lt. Col. Matthew Moore, commander of 5th “Longknife” Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, United States Division – Center.
The purpose of the meeting between the two leaders was to establish an ongoing working relationship to further the training of the 4th IFP Div. The Iraqi unit had previously been working with a U.S. Stability Transition Team, but that team was reassigned to another location and the “Longknife” Soldiers stepped up to the task of providing mentorship.
The 4th IFP has made great strides in their professionalism and skill levels over past few years.
“The Iraqi Federal Police of today are more professional than they were years ago,” said Sgt. 1st Class Mathew Soreide, a cavalry scout with 5th Sqdn., 4th Cav. Regt., 2nd AAB, 1st Inf. Div., USD-C, and a Panora, Iowa, native. “The 4th IFP (Div.) are some of the best Iraqi Security Forces I’ve seen thus far.”
As part of that, the unit has been taking on missions—often unassisted by U.S. forces.
“Years ago, (ISF forces) were reluctant to go on unassisted missions, whether it was due to lack of training or because they didn’t have the equipment needed to carry out the missions,” Soreide said. “Today they are much more capable of doing everything on their own and request and require very little assistance from U.S. Forces.”
Uniting the “Longknife” Squadron and the 4th IFP Div. will give strength to both elements, said Sgt. 1st Class Douglas Howell, an intelligence analyst with 5th Sqdn., 4th Cav. Regt., and an Evergreen Park, Ill., native. And leaving a strong, capable 4th IFP Div., is an important element as U.S. forces continue to drawdown in Iraq.