The latest Afghan Police to be trained at the British-run Helmand Police Training Centre in Lashkar Gah graduated this week.
The graduation ceremony took place just a week after soldiers from The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (5 SCOTS), took over responsibility for the Police Development Advisory Training Team (PDATT) at the centre.
Prior to 5 SCOTS, the PDATT was run by 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire).
The latest graduation ceremony took place on Wednesday, 6 October 2010, and began with a ceremonial parade and inspection of the newly-qualified policemen by General Hakim Angar, Chief of Helmand Police.
Following the parade there were a number of demonstrations of policing skills with the students displaying their patrolling and emergency response techniques, as well as their skills in dealing with the threat posed by improvised explosive devices.
In attendance alongside General Angar were several tribal elders from across Helmand, including those from Sangin and the capital, Lashkar Gah, as well as other high-ranking officers from the Afghan National Police and Helmand’s provincial government.
The 180 newly-trained Afghan policemen will now be deployed across Helmand province with the task of providing added security in the urban centres while the Afghan National Army continue to provide security and deter the Taliban threat in the rural areas.
Policing techniques and standards continue to improve across Helmand following the opening of the Helmand Police Training Centre in December 2009, which is now capable of turning out 180 newly-qualified policemen every three weeks following an intensive eight-week course which is now being run by soldiers from 5 SCOTS.
Lieutenant Colonel Adam Griffiths, Commanding Officer of 5 SCOTS, and officer in charge of development of the Afghan National Police (ANP), said of the event:
It is incredibly positive to see this sight so early in our tour. To be able to show the tribal elders of Helmand the standard of policemen who will soon be providing security in their towns and villages is a great thing to be able to do; it’s this kind of thing which then improves our ability to recruit and improves general confidence in the ANP among the local population.