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An Afghan National Police Recruit, trainied by 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, practices the prone position with an AMD-65 at Lashkar Gah on June 3.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Gene Allen Ainsworth III

Marine support vital to Afghan Police progress

27 Jul 2008 | Cpl. Ray Lewis

More than 300 new Afghan National Police from Farah and Helmand provinces are ready for service having recently completed eight weeks of intense training from Task Force 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.

Task Force 2/7, part of Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix, put the police trainees through a rigorous, performance-driven training package focused specifically on counter-terrorism operations.

Top graduates in the class are now eligible to attend an eight-week course for leadership and management training. This follow-on training is part of the plan to enable ANP recruits to provide better security in their respective districts. The eventual measure of success will arguably be their day-to-day performance as "cops on the beat."

The training requirements for the Afghan Uniformed Police are built on core police competencies which conform to international and U.S. State Department standards. Upon reporting to the Regional Training Center at Lashkar Gah to begin the training program, police prospects are medically screened and issued identification cards and training gear.

The basic eight-week program under Focused District Development simplifies entry level training, and gives police the necessary skills to survive and serve the community.

Recruits are trained for seven hours a day, but also have time for additional training which includes repetition drills, Police Mentoring Team mentoring, basic Light Tactical Vehicle familiarization for drivers, courses in logistics, communications, and optional heavy weapons training.

The advanced eight-week program provides additional training on professional policing and survivability to basic course graduates. This course focuses on democratic policing principles including ethics, human rights and gender equality. It is designed to instill national pride and identity towards the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and within the ANP itself. It is also an introduction to advanced tactics and night operations.

Police officers selected to attend the Leadership and Management Program course are taught how to properly delegate authority to a subordinate, problem solving, organization, planning, motivation, goal setting, and investigation and incident management skills to provide police officers a wider range of knowledge to assess and handle administrative, operational or personnel issues.

Following graduation, continuous assessment of the district police is accomplished by the PMT, the RTC staff and Afghan instructors. They focus on the effectiveness of the chain of command, policies and procedures, equipment and readiness, and any allegations of prisoner abuse and reports of corruption.

In the end, FDD is helping to build AUP capabilities, transform the police loyalties, establish the "Rule of Law," develop a "prosecutor-driven justice system," strengthen AUP linkages to higher headquarters, improve Afghanistan Interior Ministry capabilities, and enable GIRoA and MoI to more effectively serve the people of Afghanistan.