‘Wolverine’ MP’s train Afghan police on combined action tactics
An Afghan Uniformed Police officer walks on a patrol with his coalition partners from the military police soldiers of Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. The MP’s used their unique training as both soldiers and police officers to conduct a week-long course to prepare the AUP for their community policing mission. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Peter Schuit)
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By U.S. Army 1st Lt. Stephanie Sefren
Task Force 4-1 BSTB UPAR
PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan (August 9, 2012) – Military police from the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division's "Wolverine" Battalion conducted combined action team training recently with Afghan Uniformed Police officers from across Paktika Province.
The MP's used their unique training as both soldiers and police officers to mentor the class and prepare the Afghans for their mission of policing their communities.
They spent a week teaching fundamental police skills to the officers, who participated in both classroom instruction and practical exercises.
Sgt. 1st Class Jeremiah Cummings, the MP platoon sergeant, explained their mission.
"The military police corps not only trains and deploys to fight as ground soldiers, but conducts the garrison police mission," he said. "We are prepared to teach the policemen of Afghanistan how to be community police officers," said Cummings.
The training began with a key leader engagement conducted between HHC commander Capt. James Jones, 1st Lt. Peter Schuit, Cummings and an Afghan National Directorate of Security chief, Commander Zarif.
The Afghan police requested training in improvised explosive device identification and patrolling techniques. The coalition forces obliged, and the training began immediately following the meeting.
The classes were taught by the MP soldiers as well as Sgt. Shasta Khan, a training sergeant from the Paktika Police Headquarters. Jones explained the significance of having him on site.
"His presence was very important to the trainees. It would be the equivalent of having our top infantry trainers travel from Fort Benning to train us in Kansas," he said.
The classes included basic police topics, such as questioning procedures, Afghan law and the search and transportation of detainees. It also covered issues that are more specific to Afghanistan such as IED identification and tactical site exploitation, the method of gathering criminal evidence from combat events.
The students were eager to learn, and when some were unable to attend class due to patrols or other obligations, they asked to be given the class at a later time so that they would not miss any training.
Jones said that the training was at an intermediate level, and the hands-on portions, particularly the IED training lanes, were very involved.
For most criminals, the AUP is the first encounter they experience in the Afghan justice system. It is vital that the AUP understand their role in the process as well as the laws that apply to their community. To help facilitate this, the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Rule of Law attorney, Capt. Bruce Vail, attended the training along with a Paktika district judge.
Vail was optimistic about the training.
"Evidence-based operations are incredibly important right now to ensure that criminals are properly prosecuted and the justice system remains fair and accessible," he said.
The MP platoon plans to conduct similar missions in the future, returning to Waza Kwah for a similar course and spreading the training to other districts in Paktika province.
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