NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan (March 19, 2015) -- U.S. military advisers from Train, Advise, Assist Command - East, or TAAC-E, visited the Afghan police Regional Training Center, or RTC, in Nangarhar province, March 17.
Col. Nooristani, RTC commander, met with Brig. Gen. Christopher Bentley, TAAC-E commander; Brig. Gen. Pete Jones, from Resolute Support Combined Joint Plans; Col. Gregory Stokes, Police Advisory Team commander; and advisers from TAAC-E; to discuss a range of topics, including improved training for police officers, facilities maintenance and contracts.
In NATO's Resolute Support Mission, the job of 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 and contracts, among others.
The Afghan police have made significant progress at RTC during the last eight months, said U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Marcus Cornelius, an American adviser, who works regularly with Nooristani and other leaders at 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 RTC by Afghan instructors include the initial patrolman training course, Afghan Local Police courses, non-commissioned 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 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 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 the police leaders for their efforts at 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 U.S. 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.