Multi-National Division – Baghdad PAO
BAGHDAD – A bronze bust of U.S. Army 1st Lt. Ashley Henderson-Huff, was dedicated during a ceremony opening the Erbil Police Academy Oct. 15 in Erbil, Iraq.
Henderson-Huff was a military police officer assigned to a U.S. Army Military Police Transition Team in 2005. She died of injuries suffered in Mosul, Iraq, Sept. 19, 2006, when a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated near her mounted patrol during combat operations.
Henderson-Huff’s father was present and participated in the dedication as the monument was uncovered.
“This Erbil Police Academy did not just happen,” said Gary York, a keynote speaker during the ceremony. “It was a dream and hope of many people … and one of them was first lieutenant Ashley Henderson-Huff.”
She was instrumental in the development of the Erbil Police Academy plans, working closely with Sinjari and the Provincial Director of Police-having a strategic impact on the Erbil province.
This is truly a tremendous moment for the Military Police Corps … she was a tremendous officer, she moved people, said Col. Mark Spindler, commander, 18th Military Police Brigade. What a profound thing that has happened here, when the Iraqi’s dedicate a monument to a U.S. Soldier on Iraqi soil.
This demonstrates the partnership between Iraqi Police and U.S. MPs having fostered during this time of development of the IP, said Spindler. It also shows change is happening in Iraq…positive change.
“You know they (IP) did not have to do this, the Iraqi Police did this totally on their own; a great day for our MPs and the U.S. Army,” said Spindler.
During this time in the war, Henderson-Huff was under the command and control of the 709th Military Police Battalion in the Multi National Division – North’s Area of Operations. She was one of three military police lieutenants the unit tasked to go to one of the three Kurdish provinces and partner with the Provincial Director of Police in order to help build a legitimate police force.
Henderson-Huff, at the time of her death was assigned to the 549th Military Police Company and Fort Stewart, Ga. Military Police Transition Teams continue today as they did back in 2006 to help expand, develop and partner with Iraqi Police around Iraq.
By Lt. Col. Michael Indovina