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â??The soldiers of the 170th Military Police Company acquitted themselves honorably while serving with Regimental Combat Team 2 and Regimental Combat Team 5,â? said Col. Patrick Malay, commanding officer, RCT-5. â??They played a key role in enabling the Iraqi Police to provide security and foster the rule of law on the road to Iraqâ??s self-governance. We wish them the best as they redeploy and thank them for their selfless service.â?

Photo by Gunnery Sgt. Jason Bortz

Dragonslayers head for home

14 Jul 2008 | Gunnery Sgt. Jason Bortz

After 15 months of service in western Al Anbar province, Iraq, the “Dragonslayers” of the 170th Military Police Company, Regimental Combat Team 5 are heading home to Fort Lewis, Wash.

Arriving here in May 2007, the Dragonslayers have been a part of two RCTs and have seen a lot of changes in Iraq during their time here.

“This is the best situation I have seen (in Iraq),” said Capt. Timothy Johnson, 29, commanding officer, 170th MP Co., who has done three tours in Iraq.  “When we got here, there were 2,000 Iraqi policemen; now there are over 6,000.”

The primary mission of the company while in Iraq was to coach the Iraqi Police to be a capable and competent police force.

 To help train Iraqi policemen, the company started and oversaw the Hammurabi Training Center here. All the classes at the Hammurabi Training Center are taught by Iraqis – the first of its kind in Iraq – and the Dragonslayers have seen their role at the center become smaller and smaller as their tour in Iraq went along.

“The Iraqis are now running everything at the (Hammurabi Training Center),” said Johnson.

In addition to the Hammurabi Training Center, the 170th  MP Co. helped train Iraqi policemen all over western Anbar province to include Hit and Haditha. The Dragonslayers also helped train Iraqi Security Forces to operate a joint communication center, which will allow the Iraqi Army, the IP and all other government agencies to coordinate with each other in the event of an emergency. 

Despite all the success the company has had in Iraq, they will return to Fort Lewis one soldier short.

On May 6, Pfc. Aaron Ward, 19, a military policeman with the 170th MP Co., was killed during a combat patrol in western Anbar province. During the company’s farewell ceremony, Ward was once more remembered with a moment of silence.

Also during the ceremony, 18 soldiers were presented with Bronze Stars for their service here in Iraq. The high number of Bronze Stars illustrates the outstanding sacrifice the soldiers of the 170th MP Co. demonstrated while serving in Iraq.

“The soldiers of the 170th Military Police Company acquitted themselves honorably while serving with Regimental Combat Team 2 and Regimental Combat Team 5,” said Col. Patrick Malay, commanding officer, RCT-5. “They played a key role in enabling the Iraqi Police to provide security and foster the rule of law on the road to Iraq’s self-governance. We wish them the best as they redeploy and thank them for their selfless service.”


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