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Tuesday, 11 May 2010 03:31

Airmen give IP medical supplies, linens | United States Forces - Iraq

Written by Written by Sgt. Phillip Valentine, United States Division - Center
Airmen give IP medical supplies, linens | United States Forces - Iraq

BAGHDAD – U.S. Airmen recently delivered medical supplies and bed linens to an Iraqi Police station here, where the IP will inventory the items then distribute to hospitals and those in need.

The Airmen, from 2nd Platoon, 732nd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, often assist the IP by collecting humanitarian items for them to pass on to the people they serve.

Staff Sgt. Donald Williams, a Scottsboro, Ala., native with 2nd Plt., said they conduct these missions to helps strengthen the relationship between the IP and Iraqi civilians.

“American forces are leaving here and the local police have to build relationships with the people,” he said. “The Iraqi people are used to us giving them stuff, so when the Iraqi Police start giving it out it builds trust and stronger relationships.”

Williams, on his third deployment to Baghdad, says the IP have improved and he believes they are ready to take care of their people.

“We go out to IP stations and patrol with them emphasizing community policing,” said Tech. Sgt. Eric Gray, a Phoenix native and squad leader assigned to 2nd Plt. “It helps them build up their rapport within the community.”

Gray agrees these humanitarian missions help the Iraqi citizens trust their IP, noting that in the past some people would not call the police to settle disputes, but instead would take matters into their own hands, which sometimes led to violence.

Staff Sgt. Edward Lopez, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native assigned to 2nd Plt., found the mission personally fulfilling.

“It gives me a lot of pride to help the people of Iraq, to see their faces and smiles; hopefully, it can change some lives,” he said. “The feeling is indescribable.”

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