By Sgt. 1st Class Eliodoro MolinaFebruary 20, 2017
Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan- Inside the National Security Justice Center there are three empty cells with a mattress, blanket, pillow, some books, a hard cold steel toilet, and sink with no dividers.
"There are clues inside this cell. You have to collect the clues I have placed in there without contaminating them, and you have to annotate where and how they are found. If you do not do this, then you fail," explains SSG Eric Walker, an instructor, National Security Justice Development Directorate (NSJDD), United States Forces- Afghanistan, Fort Carson Colorado.
SSG Walker helps support the train, advise, and assist mission and is training 13 Ministry of Defense, Afghan National Army (ANA) Military Police Guard Command officers and noncommisioned officers to become MP investigators.
"They are a really bright group of folks and we learned as much from them as they did from us. The biggest thing I saw was the way they were collecting evidence, they needed to maintain the integrity of the evidence. So we developed a few things that could help them out. It was a matter of wearing gloves and not contaminating (evidence), and documenting where they find (evidence)," said Walker. "It gives them the capability to build cases and work prosecutions on their own."
The Afghan National Detention Facility and Prison-Parwan is run by the Afghan government and equivalent to a maximum security facility in the United States. It is the only military prison in Afghanistan and it houses close to 6,000 national and international security threats.
"The facility is a one stop shop. If someone is accused of a crime they get interrogated, then they go through the court system and see a judge. If they are found guilty then they stay housed here. It is a three-headed organization run by the National Directorate of Security, Ministry of Justice, and the Afghan National Army," explained LTC Norman Pollock, deputy director, NSJDD, USFOR-A. "The facility, in short, houses terrorists."
On February 19th, all 13 students earned the title of Military Police Investigators. Judges, ANA generals, U.S. Forces, and local community members held a ceremony where the officers received a certificate and patch identifying them as graduates of the MP Intelligence course.
"All of them came in eager to learn, and we as instructors appreciated their enthusiasm. It's been a rewarding experience for both the students and the instructors and their leadership will be proud of them," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Manuel Rodriguez, instructor, NSJDD, USFOR-A, Fort Hood, Texas.