A graduation ceremony was held for Afghanistan National Police who participated in the basic training course taught by Afghan National Police and NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan Soldiers at the ANP training center in Spin Boldak Jan. 5.

The six-week course is taught by NATO and Afghan instructors to reinforce ANP fundamentals. The training included vehicle operations various weapons familiarization, the use of handcuffs and hand-to-hand combat tactics.

U.S. Army 1st Sgt. John H. Caldwell of 244th Air Defense Artillery, Battery A, based in Fort Stewart, Ga. said his team has been facilitating training for the ANP for the past six months.

Caldwell, a native of Richmond, Indiana said the training site has been open since 2007 and his mission is, "To train [Afghans] so that they can defend themselves."

He said he was glad to see this class graduate and said they have come a long way.

ANP officers live in the training center and they are provided uniforms and boots.

One ANP training graduate, Hadi Atullah, a Kabul native, said the training was very good and he was happy and relieved after graduating from the six-week course.

Atullah said the best part of his training was going to the range and shooting the various weapons.

"I will go to my unit and show my friends what I learned," said Atullah upon completion of training.

Afghan National Police Brig. Gen. Nasrullah Zarifi, Regional Training Center commander said he was honored to see the new recruits joining the ranks of the ANP.

"They come from many districts throughout southern Afghanistan," the commander said. "They will bring greater stability to our country."

"Initially the [students] are weak but after receiving the training from Afghan and U.S. instructors, they are very disciplined, you can see the difference," he said.

Zarifi said he is honored to see the discipline of the recruits as they marched to receive their graduation certificates and believes the training is a step in the right direction for Afghanistan.

The officers were not allowed cell phones during training. After the ceremony the instructors returned the devices to the graduates. They received their required police equipment and transportation was arranged to drive them to their respective units in Kandahar, Uruzgan, Helmand or Zabul.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16