Oklahoma assistance team builds foundation for Afghan Uniformed Police
By Sgt. 1st Class Theresa GualdaramaNovember 27, 2012
TARIN KOT, Afghanistan (Nov. 27, 2012) -- For the past nine months, Security Forces Advisory Team 28, 214th Fires Brigade out of Fort Sill, Okla., trained and mentored the Tarin Kot District Afghan Uniform Police. They used the 'train the trainer' concept as they performed multiple partnered tasks with the police at the Tarin Kot Provincial Sub Station, Afghanistan.
The 'train the trainer' concept provides new trainers with the skills and knowledge to plan and conduct effective training. This is essential to ensure the Afghan National Security Forces are self-sufficient to train their police force before coalition forces begin their withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014.
The 12-man team conducted weapons safety and handling techniques and vehicle and personnel search training for 125 officers throughout their tour to prepare the AUP for its self-sufficient future.
"I feel confident in my training to teach my policemen," said Abdul Wali, Afghan Uniform Police officer.
Due to a heavy fighting season during the summer months, the AUP focused primarily on performing traditional police duties instead of learning additional skills. With winter approaching, the AUP now have more time to receive additional instruction from SFAT 28 in specialized police tactics and operations.
"They want to learn more so they can teach their own men," said Jim O'Leary, Dynacorps International police officer. O'Leary is embedded with the team and assists with AUP training.
"Two patrolmen have taken charge and began training lower level tasks, which is the Afghan solution the team was looking for," said Capt. Justin Smith, SFAT 28 commander. "One of our biggest accomplishments during our deployment was getting them to patrol on a regular basis."
By laying a solid foundation with the AUP, Smith and his team ensured the incoming SFAT team is set for success.
"The basic policing skills we have taught them will help turn the AUP into a professional police force, consequently, constructing a more positive image in the eyes of the people they protect," Smith said. "My team has done an excellent job. We have mentored the Tarin Kot District AUP helping them become a better force than they were before."