NEWS | Nov. 2, 2009

Hundreds of Afghan police graduate in Herat

By Sgt. Stephen Decatur , 4th BCT, 82nd Airborne Division

Hundreds of graduating Afghan National Policemen

Hundreds of graduating Afghan National Policemen

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Oct 29, 2009) - More than 250 Afghan National Police graduated basic training Thursday at the ANP headquarters in Herat, Afghanistan.

The graduates were some of the first to be trained in an effort to boost the ANP's current strength of 81,000 to 161,000 by 2013.

The course has been revved up with new instruction on everything from tactics to human rights and physical fitness, said Namatullah, a policeman who repeated the course in order to renew his contract for another three years. At the end of the course, every policeman was issued body armor, a helmet and a duffel bag of other gear.

"We never had equipment like this before," Namatullah said.  Namatullah, a five-year veteran of the ANP who volunteered to be
transferred from his home province of Sari Pul in northern Afghanistan to serve in the more dangerous Nimroz province, said he wanted to continue serving to help his countrymen.

"I don't just want a future for my own family," Namatullah said. "I want peace for all Afghanistan."

Soldier Hafizullah is a 37-year old native of Farah province who served as an auxiliary policeman for three years and went to basic training in order to join the ANP. He was eager to get to his unit with his new training and equipment, he said.

"I'm really happy to go back to my home town and serve the people," Hafizullah said. ""I learned a lot of new things.  God willing, I will be more prepared."

Another new addition to the ANP is 17-year-old Soldier Mohammed Daoud. Daoud grew up playing cops and robbers with his friends and has always wanted to be a policeman, he said. Joining the ANP was a sort of rite of passage to manhood, Daoud said.

"If every young man joined to fight, there would be peace very quickly," Daoud said.