USD-C 'Longknife' Squadron noncommissioned officers narrow cultural gaps through training with IFP partners

Thursday, January 27, 2011

BAGHDAD—With U.S. forces in Iraq focused on advising, training and assisting Iraqi Security Forces, leaders must overcome cultural and ethnic differences in the two militaries.

So, it helps that many of the noncommissioned officers with 5th “Longknife” Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, United States Division – Center are on their second, third or fourth deployment, and for some it is not the first time they have been partnered with indigenous units.

Staff Sgt. Jesse Trumpore, a scout section sergeant with B Troop, 5th Sqdn., 4th Cav. Regt. and a Pensacola, Fla., native has been working with the 5th Brigade, 2nd Iraqi Federal Police Division’s “Strike Team,” which is similar to U.S. Special Weapons and Tactics teams. Trumpore and his section have been training these policemen in the areas of close-quarters combat and urban operations.

Trumpore said the policemen he is charged with training have plenty in common with U.S. Soldiers, despite the cultural differences.

“The warrior ethos transcends all borders, even cultural and ethnic boundaries,” Trumpore said.

Trumpore said he has found the IFP officers all possess a strong desire to be proficient at their jobs, to be the best and to be considered professionals.

“These guys train hard every chance that they get, in order to sharpen their skills and become even better at what they do,” Trumpore said.

Trumpore is currently working with the NCOs with the 5th Brigade, 2nd IFP Div. to develop a train-the-trainer program that will enable the Strike Team to pass along the skills they have learned from U.S. forces to other similar teams throughout their brigade.

“This (IFP) unit is very professional, and the individual policemen are committed to being the best at what they do,” said Staff Sgt. Brandon Falso, a scout section sergeant with B Troop, 5th Sqdn., 4th Cav. Regt and a Deruyter, N.Y., native.

Falso, on his second deployment to Iraq, was directly partnered with an Iraqi unit during his last deployment and has noticed a distinct improvement between his last tour and the current one.

The NCOs who work with this unit on a regular basis are impressed with the dedication and professionalism of the 5th Brigade, 2nd IFP Div.

“The NCO corps of this Federal Police brigade are committed to excellence, from the squad level all the way to the command sergeant major,” said First Sgt. Grant Springer, first sergeant of B Troop, 5th Sqdn., 4th Cav. Regt. and a Kansas City, Mo., native.