NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. military advisers from Train, Advise, Assist Command – East and their Afghan counterparts discussed a range of police topics during a visit March 17 at the Afghan police Regional Training Center in Nangarhar province.
Col. Nooristani, the RTC commander, met with Brig. Gen. Christopher Bentley, the TAAC-E commander, Brig. Gen. Pete Jones from Resolute Support Combined Joint Plans, Col. Gregory Stokes, the Police Advisory Team commander, and advisers from TAAC-E to discuss a range of subjects including improved training for police officers, facilities maintenance and contracts.
In NATO’s Resolute Support Mission, the job of the American advisers is to provide advice and assistance to leaders from the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. During meetings, the advisers discuss important issues related to business-like functions that will help make the security forces sustainable for the long term. These functions include human resources, training, budget, logistics, contracts, and others.
The Afghan police have made significant progress at the RTC in the last eight months, according to U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Marcus Cornelius, an American adviser who works regularly with Nooristani and other leaders at the RTC.
“The Afghan police have increased the number of courses they instruct to over 50 Ministry of Interior approved courses,” Cornelius said. “Now they have the capacity to train about 800 students at a time.”
The standard courses taught at the RTC by Afghan instructors include the initial patrolman training course, Afghan Local Police courses, noncommissioned officer courses, counter-improvised explosive device courses and driving courses. “The driving course was added at the direction from Afghan President Ashraf Ghani that all police officers who drive government vehicles have a driver’s license,” Cornelius said. “Approximately 200 police officers graduate the driving course each month.”
Cornelius said the Afghan vision for the training center is to provide basically-trained police officers to the force and offer courses for continued professional development throughout officers’ careers. The Afghan police plan to increase explosive ordinance disposal training at the center, and they also plan to begin training female police recruits in the future.
Nooristani emphasized the importance of improving and increasing professional training for new recruits at the RTC.
“The future of Afghanistan belongs to the new recruits,” Nooristani said. “The new recruits are the future-makers of this country.”
During the meeting, Bentley commended Nooristani and police leaders for their efforts at the RTC.
“Buildings and facilities don’t make a police force, but great leadership does,” Bentley said. “The hard work you’ve done here has shown tremendous improvement.”
The continued partnership between American and Afghan leaders is demonstrated through projects like improving the police RTC, which supports training for police officers from Laghman, Kunar, Nuristan and Nangarhar provinces.