Iraq navy, marines to begin guarding port, oil platforms
The U.S. Coast Guard, Navy, Marines and British Royal Navy are training Iraqi forces to protect a port and two offshore oil platforms in southern Iraq.
The Iraqi navy and newly formed Iraqi marines do exercises at the port of Umm Qasr on the Khawr Az Zubayr waterway, according to a news release issued by Multi-National Security Transition Command - Iraq.
Coast Guard instructors recently trained Iraqi marines on board, search and seizure techniques using a group of stacked containers. Iraqi marines climbed cargo netting up the side of a container to begin a search.
After teaching basic boarding procedures, "we teach boarding, teach ethics — how to deal with people, how to talk to people," said U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Thomas Campbell, one of the instructors.
The marines get a week of training in a schoolhouse, a week practicing boarding commercials vessels in the river, and a week boarding coalition boats in the Persian Gulf.
Equipped with a variety of vessels including patrol boats and fast attack boats, they mainly safeguard oil platforms and board, search and seize vessels.
The Iraqi navy secures two oil platforms off the coast and is responsible for port and coastal security law enforcement, search and rescue, and safeguarding commercial ships, officials say.