KABUL, Afghanistan -- Lieutenant General William B. Caldwell IV, commanding general, NATO Training Mission -Afghanistan/Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, announced on opening day of the Regional Support Command Commanders Conference May 17 that the Afghan Basic Patrolman Course will increase two weeks for a total of eight weeks of training.

The announcement was also made by the Afghan Ministry of Interior to that country.

According to an NTM-A press release, officials are planning to conduct three concurrent pilot courses, which are slated to begin July 2. Following evaluation, the eight-week course is expected to begin nationally in October.

"We are wholly committed to the professionalization of the ANP at every level," said Caldwell said. "We are accelerating our efforts to professionalize and build a police force which supports the Rule of Law and protects the communities of Afghanistan. Increasing the course from 6 to 8 weeks has been a longstanding NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan objective."

The RSC Commanders Conference runs May 17-19.The Regional Support Commands, who report to Deputy Commander-Regional Support, NTM-A/CSTC-A, serve as forward coordination and integration cells between that unit, Regional Commands, and the Afghan National Security Force to identify and address requirements within the regions.

There are six RSCs located throughout Afghanistan. Conference topics include transition, lessons for the future, logistics, training, security and personnel accountability.

The conference will conclude with a scheduled out briefing to Caldwell.