Afghan National Army Brig. Gen. Safiullah Safi, commander of the Parwan and Pol-e-Charki Military Police Brigade, discusses the Detention Facility in Parwan with representatives from Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan during a tour of the facility here Feb. 14. Photo by U.S. Navy Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW) Maria Yager.
PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Feb. 16, 2011) — Representatives from Islamic nations visited the Detention Facility in Parwan on Feb. 14 to gain a better understanding of the detention facility and its transition to Afghan control.
Afghan National Army Brig. Gen. Safiullah Safi, Parwan and Pol-e-Charki Military Police Brigade commander, told representatives from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan during their visit that he is working to ensure ANA Soldiers are ready to take control of the facility and that U.S and Afghan officials would determine when that transfer would occur.
“The transition of the facility is conditions-based,” said Safiullah, who commands more than 1,800 ANA Soldiers working at the DFIP. “When we are capable to sustain the facility, we will take it over.”
Currently, ANA Soldiers conduct daily housing unit operations at the DFIP, including manning over watch stations, searching cells for contraband, escorting prisoners to and from appointments and overseeing recreation, daily hygiene and meal service for prisoners.
As they walked through the facility, Safiullah said his brigade has accomplished much in little time and went on to discuss some of the milestones his brigade has achieved in the past 10 months.
“We arrived here last April and began training for duty in the DFIP,” he said. “After completing advanced training, the first cohort of ANA military police began working alongside their U.S. counterparts last July.”
In October ANA Soldiers assumed the majority of responsibility for one of four detainee housing units at the DFIP, achieving a critical milestone on the road to transition.
“We now have ANA Soldiers working in all the housing units and last month, we opened and assumed control of a new housing unit,” said Safiullah, referring to the Afghan Housing Unit, which the group visited.
The AHU is the first of three newly-constructed Afghan housing units scheduled to open in Parwan in the coming months. Afghan pre-trial detainees or post-trial convicts will occupy the new housing units, which will operate under Afghan law and procedure.
ANA Soldiers are fully trained in the safe, secure, humane care and custody of detainees and prisoners in accordance with international standards and Afghan law.
During their tour the group met with representatives from the Reintegration Directorate to learn about rehabilitation efforts at the facility. Eligible detainees may participate in Pashto or Dari literacy programs as well as vocational training in tailoring, baking and agriculture.
“These programs are designed to help detainees learn a skill, which they may use when they are released,” said Safiullah.
The design of the DFIP accommodates detainee reintegration efforts and enables Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435 to better align detention operations with the overall strategy to defeat the extremist insurgency in Afghanistan.
The detention facility is equipped with modern medical facilities, an on-site family visitation area, video teleconferencing capability, large recreation areas, vocational-technical training and education classrooms, and additional space to conduct legal proceedings.