Ready, Set, Train: In-District Reform Police Training Begins
Article written by: 1st Lt. Amy Bonanno, PAO for ARSIC-South
Photos by: Command Sgt. Maj. Corey Cush, Command Sgt. Maj. For ARSIC-South
Lashkar Gah (June 7) – The Afghan National Police recruits here were all lined up in formation, in crisp, new uniforms, looking professional, and eager as they waited for the arrival of Deputy Minister for the Ministry of the Interior (MoI), Ahmed Munir Mangel, Brig. Gen. Ghulam Ali Wahdat, Regional Chief of Police, and Brig. Gen. Hossain Ardiwal, Provincial Chief of Police before they left for follow-on police training at a new training location. The new eight week police training, called In-District Reform (IDR), places the police recruits in a Temporary Training Center (TTC), located in Herat Province.
Similar to the six-month old Focused District Development (FDD) eight-week police training program where police recruits are trained on individual skills and tasks, the IDR training program runs for eight weeks. The only difference in the IDR training program is that after six weeks of individual training, the police recruits spend two weeks learning collective skills with their fellow police officers in the districts from which they came. Many leaders have referred to IDR as a cousin of the FDD police training program in that we achieve the same results but in a shorter amount of time.
During a review of the recruits today, Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan (CSTC-A) Commander, Maj. Gen. Robert Cone, and 2/7 Marines Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Richard Hall, joined Col. Thomas McGrath, Commander of the Afghan Regional Security Integration Command – South (ARSIC-S) in overseeing the in-processing of recruits and their basic military skills before they left for training. To date, the Afghan police officers have participated in skills such as drill and ceremony, order and discipline, and have begun working on simple first aid. Maj. Gen Cone and Deputy Minister Mangel spoke to the recruits, congratulating them on joining the police force and encouraging them in their journey ahead.
The IDR police training promises to provide more well-trained Afghan Uniform Police (AUP) in a shorter timeframe than FDD by taking half of the Afghan National Auxiliary Police (ANAP) from a district, who have some police training, and then switching them out in their districts by bringing in the other half of the AUP for the IDR training.
“We anticipate having 600 police recruits trained within the twelve-week IDR cycle, thanks to the 2/7 Marines surge into southern Afghanistan,” said Canadian Lt. Col. Douglas Poitras, the Principle Police Trainer for ARSIC-South.
The 2/7 Marines have been providing initial training for the Afghans for the last couple of weeks. The Marines bring a lot of good experience to the police training mission as they have completed a successful, similar tour in Iraq recently.
The Marine-led IDR training includes several New York Army National Guardsmen who are highly motivated, well-trained, veteran police officers in their civilian jobs back home. Providing training as Police Mentor Teams (PMT), the Marines are joined by civilian police officers who come from the New York and New Hampshire State Police, New York City Police Department, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), and more. The PMTs will be located at specific forward operating bases throughout southern Afghanistan to provide a cohesive, well-trained, professional training program once the police recruits return to their districts. As with the FDD program, DynCorp International and CivPol also provide training to the Afghan police recruits. In addition, police mentors will be advising and training the Deputy Chief of Police and staff members.
“We are professionalizing the police forces in key, critical districts in selected areas to achieve the greatest affect of the high-speed and highly-motivated training our police mentors can provide, I’m excited to see that everyone is eager to move forward on training the Afghan police” said Col. McGrath.
In-district training will consist of engaging the communities throughout their districts, patrolling, and other similar activities.
“The concept of clear, hold, and build in the Counter-Insurgency (COIN) doctrine is exactly what we’re going to be able to achieve here with the help of the IDR police training program,” added Poitras.
By re-establishing and reinforcing security and stability in districts which previously were Taliban-held areas, the Afghan police officers will be able to create a positive and safe environment for continued development which will help improve the quality of life for the Afghans of this region.