AR RAMADI, Iraq -- Residents living around the 17th Street Security Station in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, are used to seeing Iraqi Army patrols and used to seeing Iraqi Police, but seeing them patrol together was unique.
Soldiers of the Iraqi Army’s 2nd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 7th Division and Iraqi policemen working out of the security station in Ramadi’s Thaylat District conducted their first combined patrol through local neighborhoods on Jan. 24.
Originally planned to be a regular security and census patrol by the Iraqi Army, the platoon’s commander requested policemen to assist the soldiers.
“We wanted policemen with us because they are from Ramadi and they know the area,” said Iraqi Army Lt. Saef, a platoon commander for the 2-1-7. “They know who are friends and who are enemies.”
The combined force conducted a dismounted patrol through residential areas surrounding the station, with the soldiers of the 2-1-7 leading the movement.
The purpose of the patrol was to meet with those who lived in the area and gauge the reaction of local residents to Iraqi Security Forces working in the neighborhoods, said 2nd Lt. Micah A. Steinpfad, 25-year-old augmentation team leader and platoon commander for Company A, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment.
During the movement, soldiers and policemen were mobbed by children seeking candy and welcomed by the parents who stood outside of their houses to watch them pass.
“The people are happy to see us working together in their neighborhoods,” said Maj. Moshrif, commander of the 17th Street Security Station Iraqi Police Detachment.
The coordination of the two forces brings together personnel of differing backgrounds, with the police being local and the soldiers being from different cities and provinces.
Seeing their cooperation and partnership as crucial to the successful security of Ramadi, the two elements work together daily for a common goal.
“In order to bring safety to the citizens and achieve peace in Ramadi, we must work with each other,” said Iraqi Army Staff Sgt. Hamid, a platoon sergeant for the 2-1-7.
The bond between the two forces was formed through necessity as both operated inside the city.
Enemy activities in slowing the progressions of the city brought soldiers and police together to halt the acts of terrorism.
“We work together because we have a common enemy,” said Staff Sgt. Jassem, a platoon sergeant for the 2-1-7. “We are like one hand, working to bring safety to Ramadi.”
The continued cooperation of Iraqi Security Forces will be vital to continued success in the city, said Steinpfad, a native of Emigrant, Mont.
With Iraqi Police and Iraqi soldiers living and working out of one of the city’s newest security stations, the Thaylat District of the city continues to be a benchmark for progress in the city.