Afghan Border Police Open New Airport Facility
By Maj. Julie Solberg, USAF
Special to American Forces Press Service
KABUL, Afghanistan, Jan. 2, 2006 The Afghan National Police recently opened a new facility for its protection battalion at the Kabul International Airport.
The new facility, constructed by the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief and financed by the German Federal Foreign Office, was handed over to the Afghan Border Police on Dec. 15. The buildings, which were rebuilt and renovated during the past year, were refitted with modern conveniences such as electricity, plumbing and kitchens, and now provide space for 120 employees.
The protection battalion is a special section of the Afghan Border Police responsible for security of the airport and air traffic, as well as that of the airport's employees and passengers.
German Special Ambassador for Police Sector Reform Helmut Frick and Acting Afghan Interior Minister Zarar Ahmad Moqbil jointly inaugurated the new facility.
Frick said the airport security mission can now be fulfilled in a more effective way at Afghanistan's largest airport. This new facility, located about 300 meters from the terminal, represents the development that is continually ongoing with the reformation of the Afghan National Police and Afghanistan as a whole.
"This is another example of many major advances by the Afghan Border Police, which clearly reflects great progress and reform. Citizens see this as a positive step towards the security and prosperity of Afghanistan," said Ray Fitzgerald, director of the Office of Security Cooperation Afghanistan's Police Reform Directorate.
Brig. Gen. Aminullah Anarkhil, commander of the Afghan Border Police stationed at Kabul International Airport, said he has seen major improvements in security at the airport during the past year. "Last year the (security for) Hajj was no good, but this year it was good. People felt more secure," he said. Anarkhil highlighted how the police recently arrested drug smugglers coming through the airport with 30 kilograms of heroin.
Since 2002, Germany, in close coordination with the international community, has helped finance numerous projects throughout Afghanistan in the framework of the reconstruction of the Afghan National Police. The projects mainly concentrate on reconstruction of infrastructure.
(Air Force Maj. Julie Solberg is assigned to the Office of Security Cooperation Afghanistan Police Reform Directorate.)