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Soldiers, Airmen Help Afghan Police Hone Skills

By Army Sgt. Jessica R. Dahlberg
Special to American Forces Press Service

BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan, May 13, 2008 – The sound of idling Humvees resonated in the air as the police mentoring team commander briefed his team on convoy operations. With their orders received, the team mounted up and prepared to roll out, bound for Dandar, a small village in Afghanistan’s Parwan province.

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(Left to right) An interpreter, Army Capt. Mark Moeckli, police mentoring team commander, and Col. Masoum Farzaies, Afghan National Police, meet to discuss training events for ANP officers at Dandar village in the Parwan province, Afghanistan, May 8, 2008. The PMT instructs ANP officers on hand-to-hand combat, community policing, coordination-cell training and criminal investigation. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jessica R. Dahlberg, 382nd Public Affairs Detachment
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Army Capt. Mark Moeckli and his team rolled out of Bagram Air Base and embarked on a scenic and treacherous journey over winding mountain roads.

Their task was to instruct the Afghan National Police on hand-to-hand combat, community policing, coordination-cell training, and criminal investigation.

Moeckli’s team is made up of servicemembers who were trained in an array of military occupational specialties. With their combined expertise, they make a highly skilled and effective team, ready to tackle the task of teaching the skills Afghan police officers need to remain effective, he said.

The confident commander seemed secure in his team, which began work immediately.

“Some of the Afghan people do bad things, but most of the Afghan people want to see the Taliban gone and their country safe, just like we do,” Moeckli said after returning from a meeting with Afghan National Police Col. Masoum Farzaie to discuss the day’s objectives.

While the police mentoring team leadership met with the Afghan police colonel, the remaining team members prepared for a class on techniques for physical apprehension and restraint.

“We took it upon ourselves to give these training classes,” said Army Capt. Donald Young, an Idaho National Guardsman and police mentoring team leader.

The teams of soldiers and airmen teach a variety of classes based upon the needs of the police in each district, Young explained. The day’s classes were taught by the team’s airmen, who are charged with training national police in two provinces and 17 districts, and who recently taught police officers how to search personnel and control access to resources.

“The training is very good for us,” Dawa Jan, an Afghan National Police officer, said. “Our main goal is security, and the classes the Americans give us help prepare us for that goal.”

During the hands-on part of the class, Air Force Tech. Sgt. Chris Padron, deployed from Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., coached the police officers and gave them useful tips to help master the techniques.

“I love doing what I do,” Padron said. “Teaching the Afghanistan National Police has been a great experience.”

To become an Afghan National Police officer, applicants must have a high school education, go through testing and then attend a six-week course at one of the country’s four academies. U.S. forces augment their training, helping them to retain the training they received at the academy.

“It is good for my policemen to learn from the Americans,” Farazie said. “They have improved greatly since the Americans have come to teach them.”

As the police mentoring team travels all over Parwan province, its goal is to give the Afghan National Police the training and confidence they’ll need to work without the assistance of coalition forces.

“We want to make the Afghanistan National Police sufficient, because in the end, it is not about us at all,” Young said. “It is all about them.”

(Army Sgt. Jessica R. Dahlberg serves with 382nd Public Affairs Detachment.)

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Related Sites:
Combined Joint Task Force 101
NATO International Security Assistance Force

Click photo for screen-resolution imageArmy Sgt. Justin Koers, New York National Guardsman and deployed police mentoring team member, plays with local Afghan children in Dandar village, Parwan province, Afghanistan, May 8, 2008. The PMT instructs ANP officers on hand-to-hand combat, community policing, coordination-cell training and criminal investigation. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jessica R. Dahlberg, 382nd Public Affairs Detachment  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageArmy Sgt. Justin Koers, New York National Guardsman and deployed police mentoring team member, shows an Afghan National Police officer how to execute a physical apprehension and restraint technique at Dandar village in Parwan province, Afghanistan, May 8, 2008. Koers is part of a joint Army and Air Force police mentoring team that instructs ANP officers on hand-to-hand combat, community policing, coordination-cell training and criminal investigation. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jessica R. Dahlberg, 382nd Public Affairs Detachment  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageAir Force Tech. Sgt. Chris Padron, a provincial reconstruction team member deployed from Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., demonstrates a physical apprehension and restraint technique for the Afghan National Police as part of a hands-on-training class held at Dandar village, Parwan province, Afghanistan, May 8, 2008. In addition to the apprehension and restraint techniques, the airman taught ANP officers how to control access to resources. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jessica R. Dahlberg, 382nd Public Affairs Detachment  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageAir Force Senior Airman Andrew Kief, a provincial reconstruction team member deployed from Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., demonstrates a physical apprehension and restraint technique for the Afghan National Police as part of a hands-on-training class held at Dandar village, Parwan province, Afghanistan, May 8, 2008. Padron is part of a two-man team of airmen attached to a PRT based at Bagram Air Base, responsible for providing police training for two provinces and 17 districts. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jessica R. Dahlberg, 382nd Public Affairs Detachment  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageAn Afghan National Police officer executes a newly learned technique on Tech. Sgt. Chris Padron, a provincial reconstruction team member deployed from Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., at Dandar village, Parwan province, Afghanistan, May 8, 2008. Padron and a team of soldiers and airmen taught the class to help the ANP retain training they received at their police academy. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jessica R. Dahlberg, 382nd Public Affairs Detachment  
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