From the Frontlines: Senior Airman Chance Farmer

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- As U.S. and Coalition forces transfer control of law enforcement responsibilites to the Iraqi government, members of Whteman AFB are deploying to train and assist the Iraqi Police force.

While deployed for more than a year to forward operating base Falcon in Baghdad, Iraq, Senior Airman Chance Farmer, 509th Security Forces Squadron security patrol leader, performed as a liaison between Coalition Forces and the Iraqi Police Transition Team.

"We would meet with the different IP commanders in the area at their stations and see what their weak points were," Airman Farmer said. "We also provided extensive training on several different aspects of law enforcement to help them prepare to fully take over law enforcement control."

Airman Farmer recalled one incident when his patrol was attacked.

"We were outside of one of the IP stations talking with the local commander when someone came down an alley and tossed an RKG-3 anti-tank grenade on top of a generator," Airman Farmer said. "It exploded and caused some damage to one of our vehicles."

Airman Farmer's team and their IP counterparts immediately took cover.

"This was just one of the situations we trained them for," Airman Farmer said. "Only two individuals were injured from the initial blast. We fell back to the IP station and poised for defense. There was no additional attack afterward. That was just instance where we saw the training we had been giving them put into action."

On a typical day, Airman Farmer and his team would start out by checking their vehicles and proceeding to a live fire range to operationally test their weapons.

"We made daily rounds to the different IP stations," Airman Famer, an Evansville, IN, native, said. "We would have a group of 60 to 70 IPs together at time when conducting our training."

Some of the training included weapons retention, cordoning crime scenes and evidence collection.

"We would also meet with the detention cell officers and train them to tactically question suspects that we helped them apprehend or others they apprehended themselves," Airman Farmer said.

In addition to training, Airman Farmer also acted as a liaison between the IP force and the Army intelligence section, providing information received from detainees.

"It was really interesting experience," Airman Farmer said. "I enjoyed seeing the differences between our two cultures. It also was very interesting to see the differences in the way they handle law enforcement. Working with the IP forces was the most enjoyable mission I have been on since joining the Air Force."