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Published:March 19th, 2007 12:06 EST
Wyoming cowboys in Iraqi

Wyoming cowboys in Iraqi

By SOP newswire

KIRKUK — Iraqi detectives received vital police and investigation training from the Wyoming National Guard here March 2.

The “Powder River Cowboys,” a Police Transition Team comprised of Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 300th Field Artillery Regiment, have been training Iraqi Police detectives with Kirkuk’s Major Cimes Unit (MCU) since Dec. 2006. A few Soldiers were selected for this team because of their background in civilian law enforcement.

The MCU is a special investigative unit which operates in the Kirkuk province and exclusively investigates major crimes involving terrorism. The MCU currently employs 12 detectives, along with a compliment of senior law enforcement leadership.

The MCU required a lot of attention; two months before the PTT arrived, a car bomb demolished their offices in downtown Kirkuk, said Staff Sgt. Terry Cheairs, PTT chief.

“When we showed up, MCU detectives were in a bombed-out building,” said Cheairs.

The hallway where they worked was open to the city – a sniper’s dream. It was a bleak situation. It was so bad that they were managing case files from paper bags out of the trunks of their personal vehicles, said Cheairs.

The PTT found a new working space, furniture and equipment then began training the Iraqi detectives.

Lt. Delear Omer Ahmed, a detective with MCU, explained how training is applied in scenarios involving informants relaying intelligence tips to Coalition counterparts leading to the discovery of weapons caches or criminals, together they used these training principles to fight terrorism.

Cooperation between the MCU and PTT provided a quality training environment contributing to their progress.

The transition teams have seasoned investigators that deal with horrendous crimes.  We all train for mass casualty scenarios, but detectives from the MCU actually work violent crimes on a daily basis with limited resources, and they do it very well, according to Cheairs.

There are talented detectives working at the MCU.  When called upon at all hour’s day or night, their enthusiasm was refreshing in the training environment, said Spc. J. Thor Fiedler, a detention officer with the PTT.

According to Cheairs, the MCU still needs more vehicles and an on-site detention facility, but their law enforcement capabilities have improved significantly since partnering with the Soldiers of the Wyoming Army National Guard contributing to their success in fighting terrorism.

(By Spc. Mike Alberts, 3rd Brigade Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs)