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Afghan National Army Military Police soldiers prepare for duty

By MCC (SW) Maria Yager , Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435

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CENTCOM

Classmates watch as a team of Afghan National Army Military Police Soldiers enrolled in the Detention Operations Transition Course at the ANA Logistical Support Area in Parwan prepare to conduct a training exercise Feb 26. Photo by U.S. Navy Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW) Maria Yager.

PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Feb. 28, 2011) — Afghan National Army Soldiers and U.S. Service members busily worked side by side Sunday, Feb 27, 2011, at the ANA Logistical Support Area in Parwan as Afghan Military Police Soldiers trained for duty in the Detention Facility in Parwan.

“I am learning and trying to learn more,” said an ANA MP Soldier assigned to the Parwan Pol-E-Charki Military Police Brigade. “I really like the class and my instructors. I am proud to serve my country.”

Nearly 400 ANA MP Soldiers compose Cohort 7, the seventh class to undertake guard force responsibilities in the DFIP as part of the conditions-based transition of detention operations to the government of Afghanistan. These Soldiers are assigned to the Parwan and Pol-E-Charki Military Police Brigade, which is responsible for the confinement of prisoners, detainees and national security threats throughout Afghanistan.

After completing basic army training and basic military police training in Kabul, ANA Soldiers selected for duty at the DFIP receive advanced individual training at the Detention Operations Transition Course at the ANA Logistical Support Area adjacent to the DFIP. The six-week academic instruction is the first of a two-phase training curriculum the ANA Soldiers must complete to work in the DFIP. The second training phase consists of three weeks of on-the-job training in the DFIP.

“We teach them everything they need to know for duty inside the facility,” said U.S. Army Spc. Miguel Alvarado, an instructor assigned to Task Force Spartan, who trains ANA Soldiers. “They are good people and they seem very interested in the topics we present.”

Like U.S. guard force members, the ANA students receive training on standards of conduct for duty in the DFIP. The training emphasizes safe, secure, humane care and custody of detainees and prisoners in accordance with international standards and Afghan law. The Soldiers also receive training in daily housing unit operations, 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.

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. Guard force members receive training on the implementation of counter insurgency efforts in the DFIP and how this strategy can help Afghanistan.

The largest class to date, Cohort 7, is scheduled to graduate from Phase 1 training March 2. The ANA Soldiers said they are excited about the skills they learned and eager to serve their country.

“I like being an MP and I am excited to do my job in the DFIP,” said one student who joined the ANA six months ago. “It is my duty to help my country.”

The U.S Army Reserve 96th Military Police Battalion, Task Force Spartan, is responsible for the first phase of training conducted at the LSA. The training features formal classroom instruction and practical exercises where instructors evaluate students on their ability to perform the duties required in the DFIP. Religious practices of the students are supported, and prayer breaks and personal time are part of the training schedule.

In January, Task Force Spartan began the Train-the-Trainer program to train experienced ANA MPs to return to the LSA and help instruct future guard force members.

“At the end of their training program the students are evaluated and if they do well, can be recommended for instructor duty,” said Alvarado.  Nine ANA MP Soldiers joined the instructor cadre so far.

Task Force Spartan is assisted by U.S. Navy Sailors from Task Group Trident and linguists who provide language support to ensure the Soldiers can communicate with students in their own language.

CJIATF-435, in partnership with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and U.S. interagency and international partners, conducts operations in detention, corrections, the judicial sector and biometrics.   CJIATF-435 is conducting a conditions-based transition of detention operations to Afghan control while promoting Rule of Law practices.