‘Dragon’ female engagment team helps train female Afghan police women
Spc. Rachel Bonine, a female engagement team member assigned to the 701st Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, is bent over in the search position by a female Afghan Uniformed Police woman in training during the hands on training of search tactics and procedures class, Sept. 2. Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/image/660591/dragon-female-engagment-team-helps-train-female-afghan-police-women#ixzz2976ZaoUj
Story by: SSG Gene A. Arnold
PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan - After being in theater for just over just under three months, the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, female engagement team is already making a name for themselves across the Paktika province. Because of their reputation, they were asked by the Gen. Dalawat Khan, the commanding officer of the Afghan Uniform Police, to help start something new in the province: female police training.
Several members from the FET spread across the Task Force 4-1 footprint were tasked to provide their subject matter expertise to the first provincial trained female AUPs, Sept. 2-6.
On day one, Khan and BiBi Howah, the director of women's affairs, greeted the police women in training with a speech to welcome them. In the speech Khan charged the women to take this training seriously.
"It's a honor to have these ladies for this training; it's an honor for our people," said Howah. "This kind of training was not available in the past; this is good for our future."
After the motivational speech meant to focus the women's attention on their responsibilities, the training commenced. First they received their uniforms. It was something they weren't use to, but they soon grew into the role. Since their security was a priority, the women weren't allowed to take the uniforms to their homes. They were for training purposes only. Then, the women received training on the AUP rank structure and how to identify policemen superior to them.
The course load was packed with information ranging from personal hygiene, searching techniques and procedures, how to clear a room, first aid, media training, and weapons familiarization to include firing assault rifles and handguns at the range.
During the training, the women demonstrated the kind of professionalism required to do police work, by asking questions and walking through the things they learned two, three or even four times to make sure they were performing their tasks correctly.
One police woman stated, "It's our responsibility to stand up and protect our people and take our jobs seriously. If we do this, we could have a better Afghanistan."
"It starts with us; I want to make my family proud," she added.
Some things came as second nature and other things were a work in progress. The training started with firm handshakes and the greeting of the day, graduating to smiles, hugs, and kisses on the cheeks. Not only was the great training conducted but a bond was built.
"Reading about the culture and the females here in Afghanistan, I truly underestimated them." Said Pfc. Myra Bendavid, a combat medic and FET member, who taught how to control bleeding during the first-aid course.
"These women are smart, and they catch onto things really fast. They might not be able to read or write, but they're eager to learn and that makes the best students,"she added.
"I think that in a lot of ways we are role models to them, and they've told us that we are their role models and they admire what we do. We give them the courage to stand up for themselves,"said Spc. Rachel Bonine, a FET member helping to conduct the training. "We're doing something in the Army that not a lot of people get to experience with FET. It's nice to know we are making a difference."
This training was the start of a revolution for the women of Paktika, and it showed on the day of graduation. Covered from head to toe, the police women sat upright and with their heads up and shoulders back while the provincial government leaders congratulated them for completing the course. The director of education told the ladies in his speech, they will be a beacon of hope in the province. They have added themselves to the great women in history.
After all the certificates, gifts, hugs were given and the cake was eaten,the women stood proud and held their certificates close to them.
One police woman said, "I feel like I'm holding gold in my hands. I'm so proud of myself and the other ladies for completing the training. I will take everything that I've learned and use it daily," she said. "Thank you all for everything you have done for us and we hope to make you proud."
Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/news/94426/dragon-female-engagment-team-helps-train-female-afghan-police-women#ixzz29NvmJ0tS