AN NAJAF, Iraq -- The 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit's detachment of the 66th Military Police Company delivered more than 300 Small Arms Protective Inserts plates and flak jackets to Iraqi police headquarters in An Najaf, Iraq, recently.
The deliveries began six months ago as an effort to equip the Iraqi police in Najaf and continue now that the Special Operations Capable unit has operational control of the An Najaf and An Qadisiyah provinces. The MEU assumed this role July 31.
"We've been trying to train, equip and mentor the Iraqi police on how to run a police station," said Army Capt. Richard T. Cranford, commanding officer, 66th MP Co. "We've been sharing our subject matter expertise."
The most recent shipment will supply a new wave of Iraqis from tribes outside Najaf who want to help oust the Muqtada militia.
This extra tribal support has spiked in the last few days, according to Army Staff Sgt. William J. Trabucco, platoon sergeant, 66th MP Co.
"I've got some good guys from Karbala City who hate the militia," said Gen. Ghalib Hadi, commanding general, An Najaf Police Force. "This new force will help enforce security."
Hadi plans to supply these new additions to the Iraqi police with everything they need to fight the militia.
"They are trained well and I'm going to give these volunteers good weapons and good trucks to use," Hadi said. "I learned from my experience in the Iraqi Army, do it well or don't do it at all."
As soldiers continue to work with the police, contributing to the development of the growing force, they express confidence with the Iraqi's leadership.
"Hadi is the right guy. He was specifically sent here to fix the problem with the militia," Trabucco said.
And Hadi can think of no better friend he would rather have to help him defeat the militia than those he has in the coalition, he said.
"The Iraqi police's best friends are the Americans, who protect and help them," he said. "We are working together as a team with our coalition friends."
The MEU is also ready to help the Iraqis take control of their city, said Col. A. M. Haslam, commanding officer.
"We are committed to helping the Iraqis defeat the Anti-Iraqi Forces working against stability and security in this great city," Haslam said. "Together, we are determined to restore the rule of law and order so Najaf citizens no longer have to live in fear of the militia."