U.S. MPs Provide Skills, Gear to Afghan National Police
By Sgt. Jennifer S. Emmons, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service
GHAZNI, Afghanistan, Apr. 6, 2005 As part of the provisional reconstruction teams spread throughout Afghanistan, police tactical advisory teams are helping with the country's reconstruction and stabilization.
Army Sgt. James Adkins observes as Afghan police officers demonstrate how to search an individual. The soldiers are training Afghan National Police officers to provide a secure environment for the local population. Photo by Pfc. Kevin Nummerdor, USA
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
In eastern Afghanistan's Ghazni province, military police soldiers work closely with the Afghan National Police in their area. They train and help equip the local police to provide security for the local population.
"We teach many of the basics of police work," said Adkins. "This includes basic law-enforcement skills, handcuffing, searching people, riot control, how to enter and clear a building, levels of force, vehicle searches, how to operate checkpoints, and weapons safety, as well as other important police training."
These classes teach the police how to provide security for the local people, in addition to their search for anti-coalition militants. "When the police are out on patrol, they know what to look for," said Adkins. "They're not just looking for bad guys. They interact with the community and see how everything is going. This makes them a more professional force."
As the ANP receive more training and become more proficient in their mission, the population will see their own people providing the security. "We take the police with us on all our missions," said Adkins. "This shows the people that their own government is taking care of them. It gives more credibility to the coalition when the people see us working with their own police force."
"The refitting and training (have) really helped the police in the area," said team member Sgt. Brian Jones. "We've seen them (develop into) a dynamic police force."
The soldiers on the advisory teams have gained as much from the experience of training the ANP as the police have. "Working with the police is great, because these people really want to learn and really want to be helped," said Jones.
Giving the classes to the Afghan police also has helped the soldiers build confidence in their own ability. "I've learned to do things I wouldn't normally be able to do as a private," said Pfc. Kevin Nummerdor, a PTAT team leader. "When I'm giving these classes to the police, I'm honing my own skills and preparing to be (a noncommissioned officer)."
The opportunity to train the Afghan police force is very rewarding, said Adkins. "We've seen the changes that have happened in the police since we've been here," he said. "It's really great to know we are making a difference."
(Army Sgt. Jennifer S. Emmons is assigned to the 17th Public Affairs Detachment.)