(CNSNews.com) – The first police-stations-in-a-box are arriving in Iraq, courtesy of U.S. taxpayers.
One hundred shipping containers, packed with tents, equipment, and vehicles, will be sent to various locations in Iraq throughout the summer, Canadian Armed Forces Brig. Gen. David J. Anderson told a news conference on Thursday. (Anderson oversees the train and equip mission for the U.S.-led coalition’s partner forces.)
Anderson said the imminent liberation of Mosul and the eventual liberation of Raqqa in Syria does not mean the end of combat, but it does mark the continuation of the effort to hold, secure and stabilize the territory that Iraqi forces have retaken from ISIS.
“Nothing says normal like a policeman,” Anderson told reporters. He said the temporary, relocatable police stations will be set up in all five of Iraq’s liberated provinces (Nineveh, Kirkuk, Saladin, Diyala and Anbar) “to establish a visible police presence as soon as possible.”
The police-stations-in-a-box “are essentially temporary stations that provide a local police force with the equipment necessary to establish themselves in areas where ISIS has destroyed their infrastructure,” Anderson said.
The equipment from this project arrives in a shipping container, and includes a tent with a large working space, furniture, lighting, water tanks, laptops, phones, GPS, weapons storage, checkpoint equipment, and two Land Cruisers; in essence, everything they need to set up a visible presence.
The contents can be unpacked and set up quickly to allow the police to immediately begin serving their citizens.
The delivery of the first of the 100 containers will roll out over this summer. And this initiative will be followed by a border-guard-in-a-box project that will enable a similar capability for Iraq's Border Service.
Anderson said “an effective and credible police and civil defense structure” is critical in making the transition from the current army policing to “true blue policing.”
He expects that a total of 25,000 police will be required in Nineveh province alone, “in order to do the job properly.”
In addition to the 100 temporary police stations, the U.S.-led coalition also is in the process of buying 100 border guard stations, which also come in shipping containers.
The total cost for the 100 police stations and 100 border guard posts is $50 million.
They have been purchased with money from the Iraq Train and Equip Fund, “which is the same fund that we use for supporting all of our partner forces” in Iraq, Anderson said.
“So yes, it's been -- it's been U.S. funds through ITEF that will pay for the police-in-a-box and border guard-in-a-box,” he added.