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Effort to train Afghan security forces continues, as 80 graduate police course

By By Vanessa Villarreal, U.S. Forces – Afghanistan Public Affairs

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July 10, 2015 — BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan, July 10, 2015 --BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan, July 10, 2015 -- A ceremony here Wednesday marked the graduation for 80 members of the Afghan National Army’s Military Police Guard Command, or MPGC, who have been training to provide outside-the-wire security for the airfield and prison here as well as the people of Parwan.

The international unit overseeing the training was Task Force Solid, which is comprised of U.S. soldiers, airmen and Marines as well as military members from the countries of Georgia and the Czech Republic.

For six weeks, 12 members of the task force’s train, advise and assist team have been training the Afghan soldiers at the Afghan National Security Defense Facility - Parwan. The trainees are members of two Afghan Military Police kandaks, or battalions, who recently moved to Bagram from the Pol-e-Charki Prison in Kabul. Sixty of the trainees are company grade officers and noncommissioned officers.

The MPGC participated in a train-the-trainer course where they learned the tactical skills necessary to conduct security operations. The intent of the course was to teach a core group of leaders skills that they can pass on to their soldiers, allowing the units to become self-sufficient.

Twenty junior enlisted soldiers completed high mobility multi-wheeled vehicle and non-tactical vehicle driver training. This training will help the soldiers pass the Afghan Army driver’s test and provide initial drivers that the kandaks will receive in the upcoming weeks.

“The (Afghan) commanders and soldiers were very thankful to have an advising team to train them on tactical skills,” said Sgt. Maj. Michael Oldsen, Task Force Solid’s train, advise and assist NCO in charge. “The unit is a military police brigade that only conducted detainee operations inside Afghan prisons and detention facilities. They had very little tactical knowledge needed to assume the mission of securing the Bagram/Parwan area. The training we conducted will enable the leaders of the unit to continue training their soldiers on the critical skills needed to be successful in providing a safe and secure environment for the people of the Parwan and neighboring provinces, as coalition forces continue to draw down.”

After graduation, training will take a short break during the Eid al-Fitr celebration that marks the end of the Ramadan. Once the holy month concludes, training will resume with a new group of trainees. Graduates from this training cycle will also serve as assistant instructors for the second seven-week training cycle scheduled to begin later this month.

(Central Command Public Affairs contributed to this report.)