U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Marvin L. Hill, International Security Assistance Force and United States Forces-Afghanistan command senior enlisted leader, talks with senior enlisted leaders from coalition countries during a Jan. 25 visit to the Detention Facility in Parwan. Photo by U.S. Navy Chief Mass Communication Specialist (SW) Maria Yager.
PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Jan. 25, 2011) — The command senior enlisted leader for International Security Assistance Force and United States Forces-Afghanistan along with senior enlisted leaders from seven coalition countries visited the Detention Facility in Parwan, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011, to gain a better understanding of U.S. detention facilities and operations.
“We are going to tour the facility and show the world through their eyes that we do what is right inside a U.S. detention facility,” said U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Marvin L. Hill, ISAF/USFOR-A command senior enlisted leader.
Hill escorted senior enlisted leaders from Australia, Slovakia, Belgium, Italy, Estonia and the Netherlands on a tour through the state-of-the-art theater internment facility. More than 2,300 visitors representing human rights organizations, media, U.S., NATO, and Afghan officials have visited the facility in the last year.
“We are as transparent as we can be and our doors are open for anybody to come and see,” said Hill.
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 design of the DFIP allows for safe, humane and effective management of the detainee population, and allows willing detainees to participate in group activities, educational and training programs. 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.
“It is very professional looking,” said Australian Air Force Warrant Officer Chris Stephens, assigned to ISAF. “Every (servicemember) we’ve seen appears to be doing a good job. It is pretty impressive.”
The tour included a visit through a detainee housing unit, medical facilities, legal operations directorate and a farm where eligible detainees can learn agricultural skills to employ in their villages upon their release.
The DFIP is operated by Afghan National Army soldiers and U.S. military members from the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps who comprise the guard force, medical and legal support fields.
“I appreciate everybody who has been working with us,” said ANA Command Sgt. Maj. Haniff, senior enlisted advisor for the Parwan and Pol-E-Charki Military Police Brigade. “We are working together as one team.”
The Parwan and Pol-E-Charki Military Police Brigade is responsible for the confinement of detainees and national security threats throughout Afghanistan, and for the training, equipping and assigning of ANA personnel for the guard force and headquarters staff at the DFIP in preparation of the conditions-based transfer to the DFIP to the Afghan government.
The first Afghan-run housing unit at the DFIP opened this month and is operated as a sovereign Afghan prison. Two additional Afghan housing units are being completed with the final unit scheduled for delivery in April 2011.
“This is the first time I have seen a detention facility like this,” said Belgium Army Master Sgt. Christine Van Hende, assigned to ISAF. “I think there is a lot done to keep the detainees in quite good condition.”
Before he left, Hill took time to recognize servicemembers at the DFIP and presented them his command coin as a token of appreciation for their efforts.
“Regardless of whether you are in the Army or the Navy, you came here with core values and that is going to take care of you,” said Hill. “We rely on you to rely on those values.”
Hill assumed the duties of ISAF/USFOR-A Command Senior Enlisted Leader Sept. 1, 2010, after serving 21 months as the command senior enlisted leader for U.S. Central Command.
CJIATF-435 is commanded by Navy Vice Adm. Robert S. Harward. Maj. Gen. Marjan Shuja is the Afghan commander. The combined joint interagency task force includes U.S. service members from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force, plus civilians and coalition members. CJIATF-435 partners with numerous Afghan ministries and is comprised of members from the following agencies: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan.