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When first assigned to advise and assist Amarah's Explosive Ordnance Detachment Provincial Headquarters in August 2009, Staff Sgt. Ryan Farrow and his squad of 14 Soldiers took the reins of a station that had previously had little interaction with U.S. Forces.
When Farrow, from Rosemont, Minn, and his 2nd Squad, 3rd Platoon, 57th Military Police Company, (attached to 4th Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment) Soldiers first began visiting the provincial headquarters, they had their work cut out for them.
"When we first got here, the people would throw rocks at our trucks whenever we drove by," said Cpl. Kyle Slinker, a team leader from Indianapolis, Ind. "Now they literally clap and cheer."
In a matter of months, 2nd Squad made great strides not only with the community, but also in building a solid relationship with the Iraqi bomb squad.
Once inside the station, members typically share in friendly banter with their Iraqi EOD counterparts as the key personnel discuss upcoming training or insurgent activity.
"By building a friendship with the [Iraqi] EOD, we are showing them that we truly care about them and their mission as we guide them to be a stronger law enforcement unit," said Cpl. Adam Faatz, a team leader from St. Hawthorne, N.J.
The U. S. Air Force EOD unit stationed at Contingency Operations Site Garryowen with the 57th MP assists Farrow by conducting weekly training events. Staff Sgt. Josh Daley and Staff Sgt. Song Lee instruct and coach the Iraqi EOD personnel on disarming and clearing improvised explosive devices.
Shurta (police officers) assigned to EOD units are a small but integral part of Iraqi Security Forces. The MP strive to develop skills and leave an enduring professional impression on the Iraqi Police, said Farrow.