By Afghan Regional Security Integration Command - SouthDecember 17, 2007
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Army News Service, Dec. 17, 2007) - Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey visited a police mentoring team for the Afghan National Police today at a forward operating base near Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Gen. Casey and Maj. Gen. Robert E. Cone, commander, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, visited Soldiers of the Afghan Regional Security Integration Command-South and Regional Police Advisory Command. The Soldiers presented General Casey with an aggressive new plan to train about 4,500 ANP over the next year.
The plan, called "Focused District Development," is a training initiative that concentrates on basic and advanced battlefield skills. The development plan emphasizes U.S. and Coalition oversight, thereby ensuring the operational prowess and sustainability of the ANP forces.
Army Lt. Col. Tom Ritz, PMT leader, spoke of the importance of mentoring and training the ANP in addition to sharing the risks with the ANP during operations.
"The unity of effort has made police mentoring more efficient," said Lt. Col. Ritz. "Additionally, the contributions of the Canadian Police Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team have increased the survivability of the ANP."
Afghan Deputy Minister of Interior Ahmad Munir Mangel emphasized the cooperation of the Afghan National Army, ANP and the International Security Assistance Force. He told Gen. Casey that within three to five years, he expects police to be literate and comparable to the Afghan National Army.
"Time is of the essence" said Minister Mangel, a former army general.
Gen. Casey agreed with Minister Mangel's assessment. After the briefings, he took time to talk to the troops. He thanked them for their service and reminded them why it is important to serve in Afghanistan, which he calls the birthplace of the war on terror.
"Global enforcement is our way of life," he said.